Reigning World Champion suffers high-speed crash in wet afternoon practice session
Jorge Lorenzo’s championship challenge for 2013 suffered a sever setback today with the Yamaha Factory Racing rider suffering a very fast highside in a soaking afternoon session at the famous Assen circuit that saw the Spaniard breaking his left collarbone. The fastest rider of the dry morning sessions, Lorenzo is now to be assessed for at least another 24 hours due to the high-speed nature of the incident.
Jorge has a high inertia trauma but results are normal from initial neurological examination.
With rain always a possibility at the Iveco TT Assen, the teams took every minute of the wet afternoon session but this morning’s session was fully dry and more indicative of what lap times are more likely to be if it remains dry for tomorrow’s remaining practice and qualifying session with the Dutch round taking it’s traditional Saturday raceday slot. While Lorenzo’s afternoon incident saw him slip to 17th place, his best morning lap of 1m 35.263s was the best of the day ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow (1m 35.613s) and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez with a best time of 1m 35.883s.
Showing good pace in the wet this afternoon, Valentino Rossi wasn’t far off in the dry either with his best Thursday time of 1m 35.958s and the Yamaha Factory Racing man finishing the morning session ahead of Dani Pedrosa with the Repsol Honda man registering a fastest lap of 1m 36.034s. CRT rider Aleix Espargaro heavily impressed this morning with the Power Electronics Aspar rider setting the 6th best time in the dry (1m 36.430s) but the Spaniard also crashed this afternoon and was taken to the medical center for heavy bruising.
Karel Abraham also had a fall this afternoon with the Cardion AB Motoracing rider able to walk away and setting a best time this morning of 1m 37.346s. Avintia Blusens rider hector Barbera managed the 14th best time this morning of 1m 37.456s with Randy De Puniet close behind for the Power Electronics Aspar team with a best time of 1m 37.489s. Andrea Iannone had a less than fruitful day with the Energy TI Pramac Racing man ending up with the 16th best time of 1m 37.538s with Danilo Petrucci in 17th on the Came IodaRacing Project machine (1m 37.654s). Yonny Hernandez finished up with the 18th best 1m 37.917s.
NGM Mobil Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards set the 19th best time of the day (1m 38.147s) with the Texan’s teammate Claudio Corti close behind on a best lap of 1m 38.334s. Paul Bird Motorsport rider Michael Laverty set the 21st best time of 1m 38.874s with Bryan Staring in 22nd for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini CRT machine 1m 39.708s while bringing up the rear was Avintia Blusens rider Ivan Silva (1m 39.950s) and Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project) in 24th with a 1m 41.692s lap.
Speaking after examining Lorenzo’s and diagnosing his injuries, MotoGP’s Dr Xavier Mir said, “Jorge has a high inertia trauma but results are normal from initial neurological examination. We will move to Assen to make head and chest scans and also an abdominal exploration. Our first diagnosis revealed that there is a left clavicle fracture with a slight shift that will need surgery to repair the bone. This injury is in the background while we rule out any other major injury that may become apparent within 24 hours. These kind of impacts at more than 200 km/h need some time for the body to recover to be able to discard any other major injuries. In principle tomorrow he can travel and within 48 hours he will be operable.”
Meanwhile, Crutchlow was very happy with his performance in both wet and dry and is confident ahead of tomorrow’s sessions. “I am really happy with today,” he said while continuing, “I was second in the dry this morning although I need to improve my pace in the first sector because the gap to Lorenzo in that section was pretty big. The gap of everybody else was pretty big to be fair and Jorge was doing an amazing job. It’s a huge shame that he got injured in FP2 and I wish him a speedy recovery because the Championship is not the same with him not in it.
In the rain this afternoon I was very comfortable and I am one of the fastest on track. Before the end of the session I didn’t want to take any risks so I came into the pits and lost a few places. Had I stayed out I am sure I could have been in the top three again but I am happy enough with my performance in both conditions,” Crutchlow added.
As for the injury suffered by Jorge, he has been very unlucky. I think it's only the second crash that he has had this year, and it’s resulted in injury – which you never wish on any rider. I hope he makes a speedy recovery; I’m sure that in Germany he will be ready for battle again,” Marquez added.