Joint MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo could be forced to cut back on practice during the remainder of the 2012 season, in order to compensate for the loss of a new engine during the first turn accident at Assen.
The Yamaha star saw a 25-point lead vanish when he was taken-out by Alvaro Bautista at the start of last Saturday's Dutch race, which was won by title rival Casey Stoner.
A huge cloud of smoke emitted from Lorenzo's factory M1 as it lay on its side signaled a cruel double-blow for the Spaniard.
With just six new engines allowed per rider, per season for the manufacturer riders, Lorenzo is now facing the prospect of a pit lane start (with a ten second delay) should he need a seventh engine in the remaining eleven rounds.
To try and avoid such a penalty, the Spaniard and his team are sure to revise tactics to try and stretch their reduced engines to the end of the season.
And that could mean Lorenzo spends more time in the pits.
“It's a problem. The engine that blew up in Assen was almost new, it had 150 kilometres, and it's going to be difficult to finish the championship with the engines we have,” said Lorenzo.
“But I'm going to speak to Ramon [Forcada, crew chief] and Yamaha to find out the strategy to follow. I hope we can manage to make all the practice sessions, but it's going to be difficult for sure. Some laps, some kilometres maybe we need not to do.”
An alternative option would be to exceed the planned mileage on his existing engines in practice, but that would mean an increased risk of a technical failure and resulting risk of an accident.
A tamer tactic would be to slash the revs to try and extend engine life. “I don't think taking out some revs will be the solution,” he said.
After the accident, for which Bautista has been punished with a back-of-the-grid start in Germany on Sunday, Lorenzo suggested Race Direction might allow him to replace the engine.
But he now concedes that will be impossible without agreement from Yamaha's rivals.