Yamaha issued the following press release after the first day of practice at the Sachsenring. In it, they confirmed that Jorge Lorenzo has slightly bent the titanium plate holding his collarbone together, and will return to Barcelona for surgery. He will not take part in the race on Sunday.
Lorenzo Retires Following Sachsenring Free Practice Crash
Sachsenring (Germany), 12th July 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo will not continue to participate in this weekend’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland following a high speed crash this afternoon in the second of the day’s free practice sessions. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo had been the fastest rider of the morning session, despite still recovering from surgery just two weeks ago on a collarbone injury sustained in practice for the Assen TT.
Jorge Lorenzo's title hopes have suffered a major setback. The Spaniard crashed heavily during the second session of free practice at the Sachsenring, being thrown from his bike at Turn 10, the final left hander before the fast right hander at the top of the hill. Lorenzo fell on his left shoulder once again, getting up clearly in pain.
The reigning world champion was taken to the medical center, where scans suggested that his collarbone had sustained further damage. He was then transported to hospital, where further tests revealed the plate on his collarbone had become bent, and would have to be replaced. Unofficial but reliable reports say that Lorenzo will undergo further surgery to replace the plate in his collarbone. Unlike Assen, however, Lorenzo will not make a dramatic return to the circuit, and is almost certain to skip both the Sachsenring race and the Laguna Seca round next weekend. That would give the Spaniard over a month to recover, in time for the following round of MotoGP at Indianapolis, in mid-August.
2013 Sachsenring MotoGP Thursday Round Up: On Rossi's Return, Pedrosa's Invincibility, And Riding Injured
The big question, of course, is can he do it again? After taking his first win two-and-a-half years and 45 races (after Assen, there were a lot of tortuous calculations being made trying to squeeze the number '46' in somewhere) after his previous one, the question is, was it just a one-off or is Valentino Rossi capable of fighting for the win every weekend from now on?
It's a tough call to make, but on the evidence so far, things are looking good for the Italian. Rossi's braking problem appears to have been solved, allowing him to ride in the way he wants to. The front end tweaks which his crew chief Jeremy Burgess found at Aragon seem to have worked, and given Rossi confidence in braking again.
Just what those changes were? Matt Birt, writing over on the MCN website, has a full explanation of the changes made by Burgess, but the short version is that they found a solution to cope with the softer construction front Bridgestone tires introduced last year. Revised fork innards, including changed shims, has made the first part of the fork travel a stiff enough to compensate for the softer tire construction, allowing him to brake harder, yet still turn the bike. Now able to enter corners as he wishes, he should be able to at least fight with the front runners from the start.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
With the start of the summer break coming up in ten days time, contract negotiations are starting to hot up for the 2013 MotoGP rider market. The two race weekends at the Sachsenring and then Laguna Seca will see a frenzy of meetings, horse trading and secret talks as the few open MotoGP seats for 2014 get closer to be being filled.
The biggest problem facing riders looking to upgrade their seat is the scarcity of good seats available, both for 2014 and beyond. The Repsol Honda and Factory Yamaha teams are fully booked through the 2014 season, and even after that, it is hard to see them changing personnel. Jorge Lorenzo has shown he has the potential to win multiple championships for Yamaha, and Marc Marquez looks like doing much the same at Honda. Neither man is showing any intention of going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Dani Pedrosa is looking stronger than ever, and has to be getting closer to his first ever MotoGP title. Though he considered retiring early after a couple of difficult years with injury, the Spaniard has rediscovered his passion for racing, and is also likely to extend his contract with Honda again once it comes up for renewal at the end of next year.
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
The Honda/Yamaha pendulum
Amid all the Assen drama it was easy to forget about the forlorn figure of Dani Pedrosa, slumped in his pit, wondering what might have been.
If all things had been equal, victory should have belonged to the Spaniard. Instead he finished a distant fourth, just one place ahead of the remarkable Jorge Lorenzo. So instead of stretching his advantage over his main title rival by 14 points, he gained just two points on him.
Pedrosa may still lean on points but his season has gone awry since his back-to-back wins at Jerez and Le Mans, because for one reason or another he hasn’t been able to get the best out of the Bridgestones. At the three races since Le Mans – Mugello, Catalunya and Assen – he has cited tyre issues for his inability to challenge for victory.
This was a day when legends were born. After race after race of watching clinical perfection, savored mainly by the Grand Prix connoisseur, the 83rd Dutch TT at Assen was a shot of raw, unfiltered passion, emotion, will, strength and determination. It was a day which will live in the memories of everyone there for many years to come, for more reasons than there is space to mention. It is partially a tale of how a great circuit helps produce great racing, but it is mostly about the way that logic does not always triumph in sport. And that the will to win can drive elite athletes to go beyond themselves, and explore limits they didn't know they had.
What will we remember most? Valentino Rossi's return to victory, after two barren years at Ducati and the fear that he had lost his edge with age? The exhilarating battles that took place for the top five, with passes being made despite the risks? With another chapter in the fierce rivalry that is building in Moto2, between Pol Espargaro and Scott Redding? With Luis Salom's mature and calculated last lap lunge to take the win in Moto3? Or the story of Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone on Thursday, flew back and forth to Barcelona to have a plate fitted, and then raced despite the pain, 36 hours after his operation?
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Saturday's exhilarating race at Assen:
After testing his shoulder in morning warm up, Jorge Lorenzo has been passed fit to race in a medical examination. Yamaha issued the following press release after warm up, containing statements from Lorenzo on his condition:
The Real Man of Steel Returns
Assen (The Netherlands), 29th June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo delivered a superhuman effort this morning, taking part in the MotoGP Warm Up after a medical check cleared him to ride. Despite being in obvious pain following surgery to his left collarbone just over 24hrs ago the reigning World Champion was able to gradually build up a competitive pace and even threatened to take the top spot in the last seconds but was denied by traffic.
Lorenzo wasn’t the only one to impress in the Warm Up, teammate Valentino Rossi was also on blistering form, wrapping up the session as the fastest rider, the Italian clearly continuing to enjoy his new found confidence in the YZR-M1 under braking.
What an intriguing weekend the 83rd running of the Dutch TT at Assen has turned out to be. (Well, I say weekend, it's still Friday, but in any racing paddock, the weekend starts once bikes roll out for the first practice, and ends when the final press conference of the day is completed.) The story lines are plentiful, made possible by mixed conditions, low grip and a barrel load of ambition.
First, there's the MotoGP polesitter. Cal Crutchlow took his first ever pole in the class on Friday, with a perfectly-timed lap to blast ahead of Marc Marquez and earn himself a Tissot watch. He left it to the very last lap, but cut it very fine indeed. He crossed the finish line with just 3 seconds left on the session clock, giving him a final attempt at pole. He had worked out he would make it across the line for one last shot by looking at the sector times displayed on the digital dashboard, but when he exited the GT chicane and saw the starter already out with the checkered flag, he had gotten a little nervous.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for Saturday's race at Assen:
Jorge Lorenzo is to return to Assen. The Yamaha press office issued yet another press release today, announcing that the reigning world champion will fly from Barcelona to Groningen airport, just a few kilometers from Assen, at 3pm, and then return to the Assen circuit.
The press release states solely that he wishes to 'spend the remainder of the Grand Prix weekend with his team,' there is no doubt in anybody's mind that he intends to try to race on Saturday. Before he can do that, he will have to undergo a medical examination to see if his collarbone is strong enough. We will know tomorrow morning.
Lorenzo Returns to Assen Following Successful Surgery
Assen (The Netherlands), 28th June 2013
After completing successful surgery last night Jorge Lorenzo was assessed by the medical team in Barcelona this morning and declared fit to fly. As a result the World Champion has made the decision to return immediately to Assen to spend the remainder of the Grand Prix weekend with his team.
Lorenzo will leave from Barcelona at 3pm and arrive directly at Groningen airport.
Further updates will be issued in due course.
Jorge Lorenzo has already undergone surgery in Barcelona to have a titanium plate fitted to his collarbone. Lorenzo flew back to Barcelona on Thursday night, and was wheeled directly into hospital in Barcelona, where he underwent a two-hour operation to plate and fix his collarbone.
Yesterday, it looked as if Lorenzo would miss Assen completely. The press release issued yesterday suggested that Lorenzo would have to wait at least 48 hours before undergoing surgery. But after being judged fit for surgery, the reigning world champion decided to have surgery done as quickly as possible. Informed rumor in the paddock is that Lorenzo is to fly back to Schiphol Airport today, where he will be driven to the Assen circuit. He will not take place in qualifying, but as he has already set the fastest time in free practice so far, he is certain to go through to QP2, which means he will start from 12th if he does not ride. These are just rumors at the moment, but the fact they are so widespread lends them some weight.
Below is the official press release issued by Yamaha after Lorenzo's surgery:
Lorenzo Undergoes Successful Operation in Barcelona
Assen (The Netherlands), 28th June 2013
The Yamaha factory team issued the following update on Jorge Lorenzo's condition after his crash at Assen, in which he broke his collarbone:
Lorenzo Heads to Barcelona for Surgery
Assen (The Netherlands), 27th June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo will travel to Barcelona this evening by a chartered private jet following this afternoon’s crash during free practice for the Assen TT.
Lorenzo suffered a left clavicle fracture after falling at over 200kph on the fastest corner of the track.
A further medical update will be issued in due course.
JORGE LORENZO'S COMMENT FOLLOWING TODAY'S ACCIDENT AT ASSEN: