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:
Yamaha issued the following press release after the first day at Assen, including a medical update on Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo is being held in hospital at Assen, where he is undergoing further check ups to ensure he has no internal injuries. He will fly to Barcelona on Friday, and should be fit for surgery to fix the injury in the next 48 hours. The press release is shown in full below:
Disaster for Lorenzo Whilst Rossi Finds Form in Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), 27th June 2013
Despite being the fastest rider in the first day of practice today, the Assen TT proved again to be a disaster for the third year running for current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Mallorcan had dominated the morning dry session and had shown an impressive pace in the afternoon’s wet practice until a huge high side at the fastest corner of the track. The first diagnosis is a left clavicle fracture which will require surgery. As a result the title challenger will miss Saturday’s Dutch Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo has fractured his left collarbone during practice at Assen. The factory Yamaha man was thrown from his bike at the Hoge Heide left-right flick, the fastest part of the circuit, and landed right on his shoulder. He was taken to the medical center, where examination revealed a fractured collarbone. Lorenzo is to fly back to Barcelona tonight, to have surgery on the collarbone. He will not take part in the race in Assen on Saturday.
The injury came at the worst possible time for Lorenzo. Although a fractured collarbone can be fixed quickly with a plate, that still leaves the injury painful and weak. With the Sachsenring in two weeks' time, followed seven days later by Laguna Seca, Lorenzo faces two tracks consisting mainly of left-hand corners, placing a lot of pressure on the injury. If Lorenzo is capable of racing at Sachsenring, he will face a very difficult challenge securing strong results. One DNF and the possibility of two further weak results would make it very difficult for Lorenzo to defend his championship.
More news on Lorenzo's injury if and when we receive it.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen:
Jorge Lorenzo has won the last two MotoGP rounds in utterly dominating style. Though his win at Mugello was by a greater margin, the victory at Barcelona was one of the most impressive of his career. Afterwards, both Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg and Monster Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow said of the Barcelona win that it was probably one of the best races he had ever ridden. Lorenzo had made only one mistake, the Spaniard said afterwards, and it was so small it did not even show up on the data.
As he had done at Mugello, Lorenzo ensured that he won the drag race to the first corner, aggressively outbraking Dani Pedrosa to take the lead. From that point, he held the Hondas at bay until Dani Pedrosa finally broke, the Yamaha man going on to win by nearly two seconds. It was the second race in a row which Lorenzo had led from the start and gone on to win the race. In fact, all three of Lorenzo's wins, at Qatar, Mugello and Barcelona, have come in the same manner: Get into the first corner in the lead, push hard in the early laps, and ride as perfectly and as fast as possible throughout the entire race. There is simply no one else in the world capable of riding a motorcycle for 25 laps at full speed as well as Jorge Lorenzo at the moment.
Why did the factory Yamaha team head to the Motorland Aragon circuit to join Honda and Suzuki at a private test? Was it perhaps to give Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi their first taste of the seamless gearbox Yamaha have been developing, to counter Honda's advantage? That is the question which many fans have been asking, and in recent days - and weeks - I have been inundated with questions about the seamless gearbox. Well, question, singular, actually, as it all boils down to just the one: When will Yamaha finally start to race their seamless gearbox?
It is a question I have been trying to pursue since the start of the season, since rumors first emerged that they may have used the gearbox at the first race of the year. All inquiries I made, at all levels of the Yamaha organization, received the same answers: Yes, Yamaha is developing a seamless gearbox, and is testing it back in Japan. No, Yamaha has not yet raced it, and has no plans to race it. And no, it is not yet ready to be tested.
Press releases from the factory Yamaha, Repsol Honda, LCR Honda and Gresini Honda teams from Aragon
Pity poor Jorge Lorenzo. Once again he comes to a test and tops the timesheets, and everyone is talking about someone else. This time, though, he will probably not mind, as he was not really out for glory at the test, just to work on settings before heading to the next test at Aragon on Wednesday. If it isn't rained off that is.
Lorenzo chose to skip the morning session, preferring to rest after an impressive win on Sunday, but once underway he was quickly up to speed hitting the top three after just a couple of laps, and ending the day on top. The Factory Yamaha man had been working on set up, but had also tested a new fuel tank. The new tank does not change the weight balance from the current version used by the factory riders, but it does have a slightly different shape to fit under the seat more comfortably and allow Lorenzo to position himself better on the bike.
Jorge Lorenzo ran a perfect race at Barcelona. Well, not quite perfect, he told veteran US journalist Dennis Noyes that he made just a single mistake. 'Luckily nobody saw it, and you cannot see it on the data,' Lorenzo said. After a difficult qualifying session, Lorenzo put the hammer down from the start, attacking Dani Pedrosa aggressively into Turn 1 once again, just like in Mugello, and then pushing hard all race long, despite a front tire that kept threatening to let go.
So how did he do it? How did he pull off a win when most people were convinced that Pedrosa had the win in the bag? Two factors: his own mental strength, and a radical and inspired set up change during warm up, in preparation for a hot race with no grip. Wilco Zeelenberg, Lorenzo's team manager, explained to me exactly what they had done. "We created a lot less pressure on the front of the bike," the Dutchman explained. "That's not what you would normally do, but because you know you won't be able to do 1'42s all race, you know you don't need the best set up."
The extreme temperatures had caused everyone problems, and Lorenzo's crew, led by Ramon Forcada, had elected to give Lorenzo more feeling, sacrificing grip. "If you look at the lap times, they bring tears to your eyes. I mean, if Dani [Pedrosa] can qualifying in 1'40.8, and he ends up lapping at 1'43 pace, then there's something wrong. It means everybody is riding on eggshells." Lorenzo himself was uncertain of the revised set up. Lorenzo had told Zeelenberg that he wasn't sure that he was really any quicker, but he could get into the corner with a lot more confidence. "That didn't give him any advantage in terms of lap time, but it meant he knew he could go exactly this far, and no further," Zeelenberg explained.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
Press releases from the MotoGP teams ahead of Sunday's GP de Catalunya at Barcelona:
The defense of Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP championship faces a further obstacle. In addition to having to fend off an unleashed Dani Pedrosa and the rookie sensation that is Marc Marquez, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider now has to deal with a looming engine shortage as well. Just six race weekends into the 2013 MotoGP season, and the factory Yamaha riders are already using the fourth of the five engines which they have for the entire season. With two thirds of the season left to go, the Yamaha men will face a serious challenge in making their engines last until the end of the season.
The issue affects both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in the factory teams, as well as Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, all of whom have taken a fourth engine. Crutchlow's teammate Bradley Smith is still only on his third of five engines, though even that is not an ideal situation. Making things worse for the factory men is the fact that both Rossi and Lorenzo have had one engine withdrawn, meaning that they will not be able to use those engines for the rest of the season.
It has been a while since Valentino Rossi's name has topped the timesheets in MotoGP: once during the test at Jerez back in March, before that at a wet Silverstone almost exactly a year ago. Since that time, he's been close on occasion, but never fastest. Until today.
The Italian set out on a hot final run to set the best time of the day, and take over the top spot from his Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Jorge Lorenzo, to the delight of the assembled crowd, so many of whom wear his colors. (On a side note, I often wonder what colors will adorn the racetracks of the world once Rossi retires. Right now, you do not need a GPS to guide you to the circuit, you just follow the sea of yellow to the gates.)
Rossi was delighted, but he was also relieved, having confirmed to himself that he can still be at the front. "Today I am very happy about the result," Rossi told the press, saying that to be at the front was a great feeling. But Rossi was also realistic: it is only Friday, he pointed out to the media, and he had been fast on Friday at previous races.