Injury ravaged reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo did not decide to make a surprise return to MotoGP action in Laguna Seca because he was under pressure from Yamaha to remain in the 2013 title race.
Lorenzo initially had ruled himself out of the California clash after he suffered a massive high-side crash in practice for the recent Sachsenring round in Germany.
The 26-year-old bent a titanium plate in his left shoulder that had only been fitted 15 days earlier after he smashed his collarbone in a practice fall for the Assen race in Holland.
He underwent a second operation to repair the damaged collarbone a week ago today (Saturday) in Barcelona and he originally planned to skip Laguna Seca to give himself more time to regain full fitness ahead of the next race in Indianapolis.
But Lorenzo admitted Dani Pedrosa’s absence through injury in Germany after he fractured his left collarbone in a practice tumble had influenced his decision to ride in Laguna Seca.
Lorenzo is only nine-points behind Pedrosa and a further two behind series leader Marc Marquez and he made it clear Yamaha had not pressured him to attend this weekend’s race and the decision to jump back on his YZR-M1 was entirely his own.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said Yamaha would never have forced Lorenzo to make a quick return and he said: “There has been no pressure at all from Yamaha for Jorge to return quickly. It is his decision. We would not force a rider to come back before he thinks he is ready. If a rider had been out for a long time and there are expectations from sponsors and Yamaha you might encourage your rider to step up.
But with Jorge you never need to do that. Jorge is the first one to have that personal desire and passion to get back on the bike and try and win. We never need to do that with him. Is it wise for him to do it? You need to ask Jorge. The medical officers had passed him fit in Assen and again here and they are the final reference point. His doctors have advised him it would be better to rest and that is logical, but at the end of the day it is down to the rider and we support his choice.”