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Rossi, Marquez, Crutchlow talk Lorenzo injury

27 June 2013

By Stephen English

MotoGP's leading riders have given their opinions on Jorge Lorenzo's collarbone-breaking accident that has ruled him out of Saturday's Dutch TT and dealt a blow to his 2013 title challenge.

The reigning double champion, who had closed to within seven points of Dani Pedrosa with wins at the last two rounds, fell heavily during the wet second practice session at Assen.

Lorenzo's Factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi believes the Spaniard touched a white line, triggering the highside, but that the title chase is far from over.

"I think he touched the white line in a very fast point, it is 5th gear there and he was also a bit on the banking and when he touched the line it was a big crash," said Rossi. "It is a pity for Jorge and our team because he is coming off two victories in a row. He was riding very well and he was in a good moment.

“He has a broken collarbone and this injury is usually not very bad and I think he can be ready for the Sachsenring and will lose just one race. So nothing is closed for the championship."

Lorenzo also failed to score at Assen last year, following a first corner clash with Alvaro Bautista, but still went on to lift the title. Compatriot and star rookie Marc Marquez wished Lorenzo all the best for his recovery, adding that racing against the #99 helps him learn how fast a MotoGP bike can be ridden.

"I was very sorry for Jorge because that corner is very fast," said the Moto2 champion. "He has had a perfect start to the season but he was unlucky that his second crash [of the year] has injured him. I hope he has a good recovery. I would prefer to race against Jorge because he is so fast and in my first year I want to see where the limit is. Always you push harder when he is there."

Leading satellite rider Cal Crutchlow also gave his views on the injury - and having fractured his own collarbone two years ago during practice for the British Grand Prix, the Englishman has a good perspective on the recovery process.

“He has been lucky in a sense because of the Saturday race here he has got an extra day," said the Englishman. "He will have the best treatment and we know that people can ride with a broken collarbone. I did it and I am sure Jorge is tough enough to come back and ride because Sachsenring is a tough circuit, especially on your left collarbone."

The Yamaha Tech 3 rider added that Lorenzo's riding style could also help in terms of an early comeback.

"Jorge's riding style is smooth enough where he doesn't brake that hard anyway. He puts more pressure through his legs than the handlebars. I don't think it will be a problem for him to come back. He won't be the only rider to have raced with a broken collarbone.

“We say Jorge never makes mistakes and he didn't today. He didn't run off the track and it was the luck of the draw and that's the way it is.”

Touching kerbs or white lines is notoriously risky in the wet, but some riders felt the grip levels offered by the Assen paint were unusually low - even in the dry.

"The white line is very slippery, more than any other track,” said Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso. “I will go to the safety commission but I know that they always use the same material at every track so I don't know if they can do anything. They always use the same paint but maybe under the paint is different.

“It is more slippery than normal here, even in the dry this morning."

Team-mate Nicky Hayden agreed: "Even in the dry it was a bit strange in that you could see guys running across the kerbs and coming back with paint on their tyres.

“On my first run in the [wet] second session I touched a white line just enough to know that I didn't want to touch another one!"

World championship leader Pedrosa also felt the kerbs were unusually slick.

"This morning some of the kerbs were really slippery in the dry, especially the final chicane, I had a big spin even though the bike was nearly upright. Some kerbs, even in the dry, were very slippery."


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