Marco Melandri has been ruled out of Saturday's Dutch TT MotoGP race at Assen. The San Carlo Gresini Honda rider crashed at the revised Ruskenhoek corner, and landed heavily on his shoulder, dislocating it. The Italian has been taken to the local hospital in Assen for further treatment, and will take no further part in the proceedings.
The crash was a rather strange affair. Melandri overshot the Ruskenhoek, entering the runoff area at high speed. The Italian was unable to follow the narrow tarmac run-on lane, though, and ran onto the grass on the inside of the corner. The rear began to slide just before Melandri got back onto the track, and as soon as the rear tire touched grippy asphalt, the Italian was catapulted off his bike in a huge highside, landing on his shoulder.
Melandri's crash reduces the MotoGP grid to 15 again for Saturday's race, and a shoulder dislocation could mean the Italian missing next Sunday's MotoGP race at Barcelona. With three races on three weekends, this was always going to be the danger zone for MotoGP. The Barcelona round will see numbers bolstered by Wataru Yoshikawa filling in at Fiat Yamaha, but with two test riders on the grid, the situation remains perilous.