Injury-ravaged Jorge Lorenzo might have ruled himself out of competing in this weekend’s Laguna Seca MotoGP round, but Yamaha has left the door open for the reigning world champion to return in California.
Lorenzo seemed adamant when he tweeted on Saturday night that he would not be travelling to America after suffering another massive injury blow in Germany.
Just 15 days after a practice crash at Assen broke his left collarbone, a high-side crash in Germany damaged the titanium plate inserted in the shoulder and he needed further surgery in Barcelona on Saturday morning.
Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery and his entire crew will be making the trip to San Francisco, so if the 26-year-old did decide he wanted to compete in Laguna Seca, everything would be ready and in place for him to do so.
After he finished third in the German MotoGP race, Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi said his personal opinion is that Lorenzo will fly to America to race in Laguna Seca.
The Italian, who could not match Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow’s pace in the 30-lap race, said: “This is just my idea, but Jorge will race in Laguna. I don't know anything and it is just my feeling. The surgery was ok and he has one week. In the beginning for Jorge it was scary and frustrating but I know what happens in your mind. After some days you start to feel not so bad and you say 'why not?'
Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess believes Lorenzo will desperately want to race in Laguna Seca having not lost too much ground in the title chase.
With Repsol Honda rival Dani Pedrosa also ruled of the Sachsenring race through injury, Lorenzo remains only nine-points behind his compatriot and 11-points adrift of Marquez, who seized the lead in the series courtesy of his second premier class win yesterday.
Burgess told MCN: “There are now two guys ahead of Jorge in the championship and you would expect that Marc will get better with experience, so the task is not a one-on-one battle anymore. That’s the same for Dani now.
Looking back on Dani's year I don't think he has been at his best. He lost a few opportunities like in Qatar and Assen for better results. Dani will be in Laguna, so Jorge will want to be there. Now it is in Jorge's hands and the medical advice he gets whether he is in Laguna. His bikes and mechanics will be there, so we await his earliest possible return."
Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha team boss Wilco Zeelenberg hinted the double MotoGP world champion would not risk returning this weekend.
If Lorenzo does stick to his pledge not to race at Laguna Seca, then he will have given himself a four-week recovery period before the championship battle resumes after the summer break in Indianapolis.
And Zeelenberg said: “At the moment he is quite convinced that he doesn’t want to ride in Laguna. If we listen to him now then we should not go but it is our job to be there and this is the situation. We will be there but I have to admit I don’t expect him there.”