This is the spectacular high-side crash during practice at the Sachsenring earlier today that has dealt Jorge Lorenzo’s hopes of capturing a third successive MotoGP crown a massive blow.
The Spaniard, who was fastest in FP1 this morning, suffered a vicious high-side at Turn 10 on his fourth lap of FP2 and the reigning world champion has damaged a titanium plate inserted in his left collarbone in Assen last month.
Lorenzo produced heroics in Holland when he raced to fifth position just 48 hours after breaking his left collarbone in a practice crash.
But the titanium plate he had put in after the Dutch crash was bent when he landed heavily on his left shoulder at the tight and twisty Sachsenring today.
The crash was the last thing the courageous double MotoGP world champion needed and Yamaha has confirmed that he is definitely ruled out of Sunday’s race, with doubts about his fitness for the Laguna Seca clash in California next weekend.
Lorenzo will fly back to Barcelona tonight for further surgery on the damaged plate and he said in a short statement from Yamaha: “I have decided to go home and recover after today's crash at Sachsenring. I prefer to focus on surgery to fix the plate that was unfortunately bent during the crash. I will try to recover and be back as soon as possible."
Yamaha team boss Massimo Meregalli added: “Unfortunately Jorge has further complicated the injury to his shoulder in this afternoon’s crash so will need to return home for surgery tomorrow. We are very sorry to see him leave us however he has his full team support and we know he will come back fighting as soon as it is physically possible.”
There was no mention of a possible return date for the 26-year-old in Yamaha’s media release, but some reports suggest the Laguna Seca round next weekend will come too soon and he will not be back in action until the Indianapolis race on August 18.
That would at least give Lorenzo plenty of time to ensure he returns 100% fit.
Today’s two practice sessions in Germany were littered with fast and heavy crashes. Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone and Cal Crutchlow all crashed at the fast downhill Turn 11 but all escaped serious injury.
Nicky Hayden and Bryan Staring also fell unhurt at Turn 3.