Jorge Lorenzo has spoken of his sadness at main title rival and Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi suffering a broken right leg in practice for the Italian MotoGP today.
Rossi’s title hopes disappeared in a cloud of dust after he broke his right tibia (shinbone) in a massive high-side crash during this morning’s final free practice session.
Rossi is expected to miss three months of the season and could be out of action until his home race at the Misano circuit in early September.
The incident installed 23-year-old Lorenzo as a hot favourite for the 2010 title with Rossi out of the hunt and the closest rival Andrea Dovizioso already 28-points back in third.
Lorenzo, who is chasing a third successive victory in 2010 in the 23-lap Italian MotoGP race, said: “Firstly I want to say how sad I am for Valentino. I know how bad it is to be injured, especially at your home race, and it looks very painful for him. It is very bad news for motorcycling, for the riders and also for Vale. He has a very bad injury and I know that feeling when you ride hurt and it is not a great feeling. For sure he could stay in a very bad situation but we all hope that he recovers because the races are not the same without Valentino.”
Lorenzo looked on course to claim his first pole position of the season today until he was denied by a late charge from Repsol Honda rival Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo logged a best time of 1.48.996 but finished 0.177s behind Pedrosa.
“Today we made some good steps forward and I am very happy about how my bike is feeling here in Mugello. I have a good race pace, the Bridgestone tyres feel good and I think I can make a fight tomorrow. We have to stay calm, focused and concentrated and hopefully it will be a good race for us.”