Jorge Lorenzo says he’s already facing a tough battle to complete his MotoGP comeback at Silverstone as he suffers with his back injury leaving him at the bottom of the Friday practice times.

The Repsol Honda rider has missed the last four rounds, plus the in-season Brno test, after fracturing vertebrae in his back in a crash during practice at Assen in June.

After two months out, Lorenzo says he targeted the British MotoGP as the best compromise between recovering from his injury and not losing his race fitness and sharpness.

But following a tough opening day back in MotoGP, with Lorenzo finishing last on the combined Friday practice times and 3.682 seconds off pace-setter Fabio Quartararo, the Spaniard accepts he is still struggling with his back having not returned fully fit.

“It has been a tough day because you never feel very comfortable when you are in the last positions and you are last like I was,” Lorenzo said. “It is the situation that we have now and to try to push creates crashes and the consequences that you can imagine, so for the moment it is the situation that I have.

“My back has not healed completely, and I have pain, especially after FP2, and I have lost muscle mass and my physical conditions is not used to MotoGP because of two months without bikes. Little by little, I need to be patient to get through this race.”

Asked whether he felt he could complete the 20-lap race at Silverstone in his current state, Lorenzo cut an uncertain figure: “I don’t know yet. After the second practice I started to feel more pain on my back compared to yesterday.

“Every practice that I will do it will be worse for my back but I need to manage it and try to manage the right laps, to be able to make the maximum pace and get the right laps without getting worse with my injury.”

With his back injury impacting his entire movement on the Repsol Honda, Lorenzo also accepts improving his current situation for this weekend looks a tricky task.

“Almost everywhere I have problems physically, in braking also in the middle of the corners with my neck as my neck lost a lot of muscle, and the change of direction,” he said.

“I have the pain in the back and I move very slowly so everything I do very slowly. The only areas I don’t lose is acceleration. But in the rest of the track I am losing a lot. It shows that in my three-and-a-half seconds off to the fastest ones.”

Last year Lorenzo faced a similar situation at Ducati when he attempted an injury comeback at Sepang. The five-time world champion completed Friday practice, ending the day at the bottom of the times, and duly withdrew from the Malaysian round on Saturday morning.

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