Russian Emil Sayfutdinov has confirmed he will not race again this season
Britain's Tai Woffinden has been virtually handed the world title after Emil Sayfutdinov confirmed his season is over.
Last Updated: 16/09/13 10:02am
The Russian star suffered major arm and knee injuries racing in Poland at the end of August.
That ruled him out of the Slovenian Grand Prix which allowed Woffinden, who was already leading the world standings, to extend his lead to an almost unassailable 20 point lead.
With two GPs left in 2013, there was still some hope that Sayfutdinov would return to mount some sort of challenge.
But now he has revealed that he will not race again and in a statement on his official website, Sayfutdinov said: "Dear fans, I would like to inform you that, unfortunately, my 2013 season has ended. Despite intensive rehabilitation, I will not be 100 percent healthy and ready to start again this season.
"In view of the fact I still have many years of my career to go, my health is most important to me, so I decided I will not come back if I am not fully healthy.
"I am already preparing for the new season to be able to win once again and I'm working on a lot of gear for my teams and the Grand Prix. I wish you all a pleasant winter and see you next season. Emil."
This now means Woffinden is closer than ever to becoming the first Brit to win the title in more than a decade.
If he has a 22-point advantage or more over his nearest rival whoever that may be after Saturday's GP in Stockholm, he will be world champion with a round to spare.
Sayfutdinov will be replaced in the Swedish capital by SGP second reserve Leon Madsen.