Valentino Rossi has speculated that Jorge Lorenzo will be back on the grid for the United States MotoGP at Laguna Seca in less than a week's time, though his main rivals remain uncertain.
Following his heroic efforts in the Dutch TT, when he rode to fifth position with a freshly broken collarbone, Lorenzo then damaged the inserted plate in a fall during practice for the German GP, requiring another round of surgery and ruling him out of the event.
Yamaha insist no final decision on Lorenzo's US GP attendance
has been made, although the rider himself indicated on Twitter that he did not want to take any more risks, adding 'See you in Indy' (the round following Laguna Seca).
That said, team-mate Rossi believes Lorenzo will give in to racer's instinct and be back on the bike for the US event, particularly in light of Dani Pedrosa's withdrawal from the Sachsenring.
New title leader Marc Marquez, Pedrosa and reigning double champion Lorenzo are covered by just eleven points at the top of the standings.
“So this is just my idea, but Jorge will race at Laguna,” he told reporters during the post-race press conference. “I don't know anything. It is just my feeling. Because he has one week, the surgery was okay. At the beginning for sure for Jorge it was scary and frustrating. But I know what happens in the mind after some days, you feel not so bad and you say 'why not?' But maybe I am wrong!”
However, while Marquez and Cal Crutchlow were both vocally respectful of Lorenzo's performance in the Netherlands, they are unsure whether such a swift return is a good idea.
“Like we said in Assen, what he did there we were surprised about, so we can expect anything,” said Marquez. “If he is ready [for Laguna Seca], why not? But the situation of the championship won't change his mind, is my opinion.”
“I think he will be a bit wiser this time to come back,” added Crutchlow. “It is a racer's instinct to come back straight away and he did a fantastic job at Assen. What he did was really remarkable. But I think now after a second operation he will not take the risk again, because he is already thinking for the career. If you want a longer career it is better not to get hurt.
“I think he came here with maybe a little too much confidence. On Friday morning he was already so fast and he made a small mistake. But I hope he comes back soon and we know as soon as he comes back he will be battling at the front and strong again. He may as well wait. It makes no difference I think.”
Laguna Seca is the last event before the summer break, with the Indianapolis round on August 16-18.