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'Proud' podium for injured Lorenzo.

Jorge Lorenzo is not even halfway through his second MotoGP season and already the 22-year-old has built up a fearsome reputation for overcoming painful injuries, but Sunday's third place at Laguna Seca was arguably his best yet under such circumstances.

Lorenzo has finished on the podium while riding injured before, having claimed second in last year's French Grand Prix - 4.997sec behind Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi - just two weeks after fracturing both ankles in China.

However, his US GP performance was arguably even more impressive. Just a day after dislocating his right collarbone and fracturing a bone in his right foot in a huge qualifying highside, the double 2009 race winner fought his way back from eighth on lap one to challenge team-mate Valentino Rossi for second in the closing stages.

With five laps to go the 22-year-old saw his chance and tried to pass the world champion at the final corner, but he suffered a big slide in the process and ran wide, letting Rossi back through and dropping back over a second.

Had it not been for that mistake Lorenzo believes he could have won the race. Instead the Spaniard crossed the finish line 1.926 seconds behind race winner Dani Pedrosa and 1.582sec from Rossi.

“I always try to do my best and I think that is what I have done today, considering my physical condition,” said Lorenzo after his seventh podium in eight starts. “I am really proud and I think that this was one of my best races.

“My foot was okay but I had a lot of pain in my right shoulder, which meant I wasn't strong in my right hand and I had to over-compensate with my left; I am really tired now! I want to thank the Clinica Mobile because they made it possible for me to finish the race.

“After a while I started to forget about the pain a bit and I just wanted to do my best and I knew that it was possible to pass Valentino. Unfortunately I hit some bumps when I braked deep and my rear tyre moved a lot and I was lucky not to crash.

“Maybe without this mistake, if I had been able to pass him, it would have been possible to win but anyway third is good in the circumstances and we have taken good points. Now we have some time to recover; I am fit and strong so I hope that by Sachsenring I will be back to my best.”

With hindsight, Lorenzo's crew chief Ramon Forcada agreed it might have been better to wait for a clearer opportunity to overtake Rossi.

“Our rider did a very good job today in his poor physical condition. He showed that he never gives up even when things are tough and that his mind is very strong, which is very important for a rider,” he began. “At the end, when he caught Valentino, he made his attack very soon and maybe if he had waited a little bit things might have been different, but anyway third is a very good result in the circumstances and we have got some important championship points.”

Lorenzo is now nine points behind Rossi in the world championship standings.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Lorenzo, U.S. MotoGP 2009
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi and Zarco touch, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi runs wide before Zarco makes contact, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Dovizioso, Petrucci, Marquez Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo entering pits to change tyres, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Miller Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Dutch MotoGP 2017

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July 06, 2009 2:09 AM

That's what I like about these guys -- hardly a wimp amongst them. Stoner rides obviously sick, Pedrosa and Lorenzo ride broken bones and all. Rossi is an iron man when injured too, but is good enough to keep from injury more than most. And they are not the only ones (look at that die-hard Hopper), and they are not the first, its been like this for 50 years. All motorcycle roadracing is full of stories like this. This is one tough bunch -- not like those car guys -- at least of late (except maybe the rally types). My hat's off to all these motorcycle roadracers.

derek0113 - Unregistered

July 06, 2009 12:01 PM

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, even in a distant 4th Lorenzo was always a player, he was clever enough to pace himself with his injuries, closing in on Rossi was great to see, but that move wasn't on, he thought he could have done a Stoner on Rossi, but he should have waited for another opportunity. Had he done so he might have got Pedrosa as well. Well, if he learns from these, great if he doesn't then he will never win the main prize. also he must remember the race is never won during qualifying, so falling off twice isn't what you want to do. Dani won from the second row, thats why Rossi isn't to miffed about not being on pole. Apply some common sense Jorge and its yours.

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