Two days, two big highsides, and two championship contenders down and out. Friday and Saturday at the Sachsenring saw both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa have massive crashes, and forced to withdraw from the race in Germany. Jorge Lorenzo bent the titanium plate holding together the collarbone which he broke at Assen, while Dani Pedrosa suffered an incomplete fracture of his collarbone, and had problems with blood pressure and dizziness.
Though both Pedrosa and Lorenzo were ruled out of the Sachsenring race, there was much speculation about whether either of the two would be racing at Laguna Seca next weekend. Jorge Lorenzo had already ruled himself out of the race, posting a statement on his Twitter feed that he would be waiting until Indianapolis to return, in order to be fully fit and healthy.
Today, the official Honda MotoGP team Twitter feed posted an update suggesting that Dani Pedrosa intends to race at Laguna Seca next weekend. The tweet reads in full: "Dani is feeling better and at the moment the plan is to be in Laguna! Thank you for all your kind messages." Whether he can race in Laguna Seca will depend on his fitness, but also on being allowed to fly, as suffering sudden drops in blood pressure has been cause for some airlines to deny passengers the right to board.
But Pedrosa's intention to fly to the US and take part in the race will put pressure on Lorenzo to change his mind. Though the sensible course of action is to stay at home, any points scored by Pedrosa in the US will make Lorenzo's title defence much more difficult. In the post-race press conference, Valentino Rossi was convinced Lorenzo would not sit out the Red Bull US GP. "This is just my idea, but Jorge will race in Laguna," Rossi said. "It's just my feeling, I know nothing. At the beginning for sure Jorge is very scared and frustrated. But I know what happens in the mind, and after some days, you feel not so bad, and you say, 'why not'?" Whether Rossi is right or not will become clear in the next few days.