Jorge Lorenzo is hopeful of being close to full fitness by the time the 2019 MotoGP season rolls around on March 10th after a “very stupid” training crash fractured his left scaphoid and threw his preseason plans up in the air.

The Majorcan was officially revealed as a Repsol Honda rider at a team presentation in Madrid on Wednesday, while sporting a hefty cast on his left arm, the result of a fall sustained while practicing dirt-track in northern Italy last Saturday.

The injury was enough to rule the five-time world champion out of the year’s first preseason test at Sepang in early February. As Lorenzo explained, his recent crash was a result of not checking the surface of a dirt track outside Verona sufficiently.

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Lorenzo had damaged the same wrist in a violent practice fall in Thailand last October, necessitating surgery to amend damaged ligaments. As he explained, with the joint still lacking “100 percent mobility,” this latest front-end fall put so much pressure on his left scaphoid, it broke.

“It was on the bike,” he said, explaining his recent crash. “It was my first day riding the bike, riding dirt track in some Italian track. And yes, it happened very quickly, because one mistake was not to check properly the track and in some parts of the track there was some mud that was difficult to see.

“Because the surface looked perfect, dry, but instead there was this mud and when I entered this zone, the front closed and I had a very stupid crash.

“But unfortunately my wrist was not completely healed from Thailand crash so I didn't have 100 percent mobility and this effect a little bit the pressure on the scaphoid. The scaphoid broke.

“We decided together to get an operation, understanding the special nature of this bone compared to other bones, the complexity.”

While acknowledging the timing was inconvenient, Lorenzo attempted to remain upbeat. The pain in the wrist, he said, would be too much to participate at the Sepang test, less than two weeks away.

Instead he will focus his efforts on recovering for the MotoGP preseason’s final shakedown that takes place in Qatar from February 23rd to the 25th. Come the first race, he is hopeful of achieving “90-95 percent” fitness.

“Obviously the perfect solution would be to be able to ride and test in Sepang,” he said. “But understanding all the situation and the lack of days from here to Sepang, we decided that 100 percent I will not test at Sepang and I will test one month or 34 days [after the injury] at the Qatar test.

“I don’t think I'll be 100 percent at the Qatar test, probably 80-85%, to be 90-95% at the Qatar race. It's like that. Obviously I didn’t' expect to crash three days ago. It was a big thing because I think it was very unlucky crash, an unlucky situation.

“But now we this situation and we've got to work as well as possible with the physio, with the machines, with everything and we have our plan to make it. I think on Friday I will start to move a little bit the wrist and little by little we will recover well from this injury.”

 

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