Valentino Rossi has admitted the chances of factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo successfully defending his MotoGP world title in 2013 will be difficult after the Spaniard’s latest injury nightmare in Germany today.
Lorenzo has been ruled out of Sunday’s race after he suffered a massive crash in this afternoon’s FP2 when he lost the rear of his YZR-M1 machine at Turn 10.
He landed heavily on the left collarbone he broke only 15 days ago in Assen and in a fresh blow it was revealed that the 26-year-old has bent a titanium plate inserted after his Holland practice crash.
Lorenzo rode to a heroic fifth in Assen just 48 hours after breaking his left collarbone but there is to be no repeat of his superhuman exploits this weekend.
He will fly back to Barcelona tonight to undergo additional surgery to repair the damaged plate and while he is definitely out of the Sachsenring race, his place in the forthcoming Laguna Seca clash in just nine days time is in serious doubt.
Lorenzo would have gone into this weekend’s race trailing series leader Dani Pedrosa by just nine-points after his astonishing display of skill and bravery in last month’s Dutch TT.
But being sidelined for at least one race has put a huge dent in Lorenzo’s title challenge and Rossi, who won in Assen to notch an 80th premier class success, said: “What happened to Jorge today is the worst thing because he crashed again on his shoulder and he has a problem with the plate inside.
Now it is difficult because there are two races in a row. If Jorge doesn't race for these two races the situation for the championship will be very difficult but not impossible. Jorge is very fast and can win races and after Laguna there is a three week break, so for Indy he can be at 100% and it also depends on the results of the Hondas in these two races. The championship is long but now everything has become more difficult for Jorge."
The Italian ended today’s crash-strewn practice sessions in fourth position on the combined timesheets.
His best time of 1.22.241 was only 0.211s off the best pace set by home crowd favourite Stefan Bradl.
Rossi was galvanised in Assen by front-end modifications to help him brake harder and turn better and he was able to win for the first time since the Sepang race in 2010 with a vintage performance in Holland.
He added: “It was quite a positive day because I could use my setting and confirmed the good feeling from Assen. All the times are very close and I had the second fastest ideal time and I am only 0.3s from pole.
My pace is not so bad and I am happy. Now I can ride the bike in a better way and I feel that I am faster and more competitive. Before the modification in Assen it was very difficult to fight for the podium but after this change now I think it is possible to fight to win races. Before I was in trouble to take the bike to the limit. It is still difficult but I am more comfortable."