World champion Jorge Lorenzo lauded his against-the-odds fifth place finish in the Dutch MotoGP at Assen as 'better than any victory in my career'.
Lorenzo suffered a broken left collarbone in a fall during Thursday practice but incredibly took his place on the grid after returning to the Netherlands following surgery in Barcelona.
He rode through the pain barrier to finish behind championship leader Dani Pedrosa, with the Repsol Honda rider only increasing his lead at the top by two points to a nine-point margin.
“It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen,” said Lorenzo. “We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race.
“We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard.
“I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn't do more than fifth position,” he added.
“We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the championship.
“This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career.”
Lorenzo is now optimistic of his chances in the next race at the Sachsenring in Germany, even though the defending world champion will be still be far from fully fit.
“I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here,” said Lorenzo, who praised team-mate Valentino Rossi following the Italian's brilliant victory for the Factory Yamaha team.
“The victory for Valentino and the third for Crutchlow are good for the championship, I would have preferred Cal to finish in front of Marc but you can't always have perfection!” he said.
“I am happy for Valentino, more than two years without winning has been hard for him so I'm happy for my box partner.
“After Aragon I think he made some improvements and here he took profit from the opportunity.
“Lets see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race.”
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