Just as Jorge Lorenzo seemed to be making tangible progress in his adaptation to the Honda, the triple MotoGP champion has been forced out of both this weekend's Dutch MotoGP and the following German round by injury.

Lorenzo fractured his T6 and T8 vertebra (between the shoulder blades) when he slid off at the 160km/h Turn 7 corner, in morning practice at Assen. The Spaniard suffered the damage as he tumbled roughly through the gravel trap, including a heavy blow to the head.

Although eventually able to walk away, Lorenzo was clearly shaken and taken by ambulance to the medical centre, before being transported to hospital for further scans to his upper body - already sore from a big Barcelona test accident.

Initially, only a 'stable' T6 fracture was detected, but a later MRI also revealed a 'trabecular fracture' in his T8 vertebra.

“Due to the fall I fractured both my T6 and T8 vertebrae," Lorenzo said. "The injury does not allow me to race here in Assen or at the Sachsenring.

"Tomorrow morning I will fly to Lugano and do all the possible treatments to get ready to go to Brno."

Lorenzo had finally returned to the sharp-end of a MotoGP race in Barcelona, only to fall and bring down three other riders.

But the #99 was confident of carrying the competitive form over to Assen, where he had a new Honda fairing to try, plus the new carbon-fibre covered frame.

Assen marks the latest in a punishing run of injuries for Lorenzo, stretching back to a broken toe at Aragon last year.

That was followed by a crack to the radius bone of his left wrist due to a technical problem in Thailand, then a fracture to the scaphoid bone in the same wrist during a January training accident, robbing him of the Sepang test.

The Sachsenring event begins in just one week, while Brno is the first grand prix after the summer break, in early August.

" I’m very sorry for Lorenzo and wish him a speedy recovery," said team-mate and reigning world champion Marc Marquez.

 

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