MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez fractured his right leg during dirt track practice in Spain, his team announced Thursday, but he hopes to be fit in time for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Spaniard, who last year became the youngest rider ever to win the world title, and the first rookie to win in 35 years, was injured on Wednesday and could be out for three to four weeks, Repsol Honda said.
Marquez's injury comes just a month before the MotoGP championship resumes in Qatar on March 23.
But a "full recovery" is expected in time for the Losail race, a statement on Honda's Facebook page reported.
Marquez broke his fibula in Lleida, west of Barcelona, on Wednesday afternoon and was taken to the Quiron Dexeus University Hospital, where surgeon Xavier Mir confirmed there was no need for an operation, it said.
"It was a really unfortunate accident that could happen to anyone at anytime," Marquez was quoted as saying.
"I was rushed to hospital and Dr. Mir treated me. Thankfully, there was no ligament damage and it seems like a clean break."
Marquez will miss next week's Sepang test and possibly the following week's in Phillip Island, Australia, Honda said.