Ducati’s Chaz Davies will miss the second race of the Rimini World Superbike round, after he sustained a fracture to his back in a collision with championship rival Jonathan Rea in race one.

Davies and Rea were battling hard on the final lap of a dramatic opening race from Misano when the Ducati rider tucked the front end into Turn 13.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

Championship leader Rea was powerless to avoid the sliding Welshman and ran over the top of him, the Kawasaki rider also falling from his machine in the incident.

Davies did get to his feet, but soon had to be carried off of the race track by the marshals, while Rea remounted his stricken ZX-10RR to finish third behind Yamaha’s Alex Lowes and Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes.

Davies was taken to hospital in Rimini where scans revealed he had suffered a fracture of the transverse process of the third lumbar vertebrae. The Ducati rider, who is now 91 points adrift of the championship lead in third, will sit out Sunday’s second race, while his participation in the eighth round of the season at Laguna Seca in three weeks remains unknown.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

The end of today’s race leaves a bitter taste in our mouth,” said Ducati Superbike project director Ernesto Marinelli.

Chaz and Marco (Melandri, team-mate) rode a memorable race, both showing they could win, but they crashed out during the last lap.

Marco will have another go at it tomorrow, while we’re deeply saddened by what happened to Chaz.

He will now observe a rest period, but he has a strong character and I’m sure he’ll tackle it with the same mettle he’s racing with.”

Third-placed Rea, whose championship lead was cut to 46 points as a result of the incident, ran over to Davies on his in-lap to check his condition. The Kawasaki rider later apologised for hitting him and expressed his disappointment at how the race ended for the pair of them.

The plan was to just release the brake and go up the inside of Chaz on the last corner, but unfortunately for both of us it did not get that far,” he said.

Especially for Chaz. He made a mistake and tucked the front and I am super sorry that I hit him, but I had absolutely nowhere to go.

I hope he is OK. It was a shame for me and Chaz as we were fighting for the victory.”