On Thursday, June 27th, 2013, Jorge Lorenzo took a flying lap around a soaking wet Assen during FP2, and hit a patch of water at Hoge Heide, the blisteringly fast right-left flick before the Ramshoek and the GT chicane. The Spaniard hit the ground hard, breaking his left collarbone. Trailing Dani Pedrosa in the championship by 7 points, Lorenzo decided to fly back to Barcelona for surgery.
Lorenzo flew to Barcelona on Thursday night, had his collarbone plated in the Dexeus Institut that night, and spent Friday morning recovering. Friday evening, Lorenzo was on a plane again, on his way back to Assen, and contemplating riding. On Saturday morning, race day at the time, Lorenzo was passed fit by the circuit doctor at Assen. Starting from twelfth on the grid – he had qualified for Q2 in FP1, benefiting from the weather conditions – the Spaniard gritted his teeth and suffered through a long race, eventually finishing in a remarkable fifth place.
Lorenzo's story has gone down in the annals of MotoGP history as a feat of epic endurance and willpower. But there were many question marks raised at the time. Was it safe? Was it worth the risk of crashing again, and potentially suffering a worse injury? The case even triggered a change in the rules, with a clause added that riders who had been under any form of anesthesia would not be allowed to practice or race for 48 hours afterwards.