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Lorenzo: Don’t use me as an example

11 July 2013

MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo doesn't want his Assen injury heroics to be used as an example for others to follow.

Lorenzo broke his collarbone in a wet 170mph practice highside at Assen, underwent surgery back in Barcelona early the next day, then made a shock return to Holland and rode to fifth in the race!

It was an incredible effort, both physically and mentally, but in future other riders are sure to cite the Lorenzo example to argue that they too can ride shortly after surgery.

“I think Lorenzo has now set a bar because if someone is injured we can now go to the medical office and say 'ah, well Jorge rode with a broken collarbone',” commented Cal Crutchlow. “So there is a grey area, because now they let him race, what's next? Maybe it was just that circuit...”

“Don't do it!” interrupted a smiling Lorenzo, also present at Thursday's Sachsenring press conference. “Don't do what I did, please.”

Crutchlow continued: “I think riders in any championship now will use this example and say, 'he [Lorenzo] raced with a broken bone, he had an operation, why can't I?' That is the grey area. One circuit [doctor] might let you race and one might not.”

Lorenzo later again made clear that he doesn't want his situation to be seen as the new standard for injured riders.

“I think riders in the future that have similar injuries to me must, or should not, take my Assen race as an example,” he said. “Some friends told me that an Italian rider broke his right arm and wanted to race the next week or ten days later. It is not good. Not logical. You have to take [into account] how your body feels. If you feel good to race and mentally strong, you can race. But Assen should not be an example for anyone.”

But the risk for Lorenzo was more than rewarded: The factory Yamaha star lost just two points to title leader Dani Pedrosa, who starts this weekend's German round nine points clear of Lorenzo.

One way to avoid injured riders trying to keep their title chances alive would be to allow riders to drop their worst result(s) of the season. It is a system that was used in the past but the present competitors canvassed all felt it is better to stick with the 'all races count' format.

Lorenzo, speaking exactly two weeks after his Assen accident, believes it would actually increase the danger on track.

“I'm not positive about this because it will increase the risk of the riders. I think it's good like it is. You have to stay on the bike [to win the title] and that is also the best way to avoid injuries. If you have the possibility to crash [without losing points] you will take more risks and be injured more.”

Pedrosa, who has suffered more than his fair share of injuries in previous seasons, admitted the format would be attractive in some ways, but that overall it would be too confusing.

“This would also have helped me in the past!” said the Repsol Honda rider. “But basically as Jorge said I think the championship is 18 races and 18 times you have to be there and that is why you become champion or not.

“Also regarding the points standings it's much more easy as it is. If you have to take off maybe one [race] you have to show two sets of points - with or without the worst race. So I think like it is now is the best way.”

Lorenzo's team-mate and Assen winner Valentino Rossi agreed.

“For me, there are some good things and some bad things [about dropping the worst result]. Maybe it's better in a situation like Jorge, you can decide not to race, so for the risk it is good. It is also maybe better for the battle on the last lap. The riders can try more to win,” said the seven time MotoGP champion.

“But in the end I like it more as it is. Especially because the ranking is more clear for everybody. You have a clear ranking and you have to do the maximum without risking too much or making a lot of mistakes. I think it is better like this.”

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