British rider Cal Crutchlow said he fully expects Jorge Lorenzo to bounce back quickly from a broken left collarbone the reigning world champion suffered in a high speed practice crash at Assen earlier today.
The Spaniard had dominated this morning’s opening practice in dry conditions when he fell heavily in a rain-lashed FP2.
Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1 appeared to clip a white line and he was sent over the handlebars in fifth gear, the heavy impact breaking his left collarbone for the third time in his Grand Prix career.
Lorenzo, who was in the form of his life after taking victories in Mugello and Barcelona, has been ruled of Saturday’s Dutch TT and he is due to fly to Barcelona tomorrow (Friday) to undergo surgery to repair the damaged collarbone.
The double MotoGP world champion won’t need to be back on his YZR-M1 machine for another 15 days when practice starts for the German round at the Sachsenring and fellow Yamaha rider Crutchlow believes he shouldn’t have too many issues on his return.
Crutchlow broke his left collarbone ahead of his first British Grand Prix experience at Silverstone in 2011 and he was declared fit to ride in Assen just 12 days later.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, who was second behind Lorenzo on a dry track in FP1, told MCN: “He has been lucky in a sense because of the Saturday race here he has got an extra day.
He will have the best treatment and we know that people can ride with a broken collarbone. I did it and I am sure Jorge is tough enough to come back and ride because Sachsenring is a tough circuit, especially on your left collarbone. But Jorge’s riding style is smooth enough where he doesn’t brake that hard anyway.
He puts more pressure through his legs than the handlebars. I don’t think it will be a problem for him to come back. He won’t be the only rider to have raced with a broken collarbone. We say Jorge never makes mistakes and he didn’t today. He didn’t run off the track and it was the luck of the draw and that’s the way it is.”
Former World Supersport champion Crutchlow said Lorenzo was lucky to walk away from such a fast fall with just a broken collarbone that dents his hopes of winning the premier class crown for a third time.
Crutchlow added: “He never touched the white line but when he went onto a little patch of water that would have sucked him to the white line. It could have happened to anyone because he was going to be the man to beat again for sure. It is disappointing for the championship that one of the quick guys is out injured for a race.
He doesn’t crash but luckily he got up fine and it is always worse if a rider is lying on the floor. I’m pleased in a way that he only has a broken collarbone because it could have been a lot worse because it is a fast corner, maybe even in sixth gear depending on what gear you want to run. I don’t like to see guys crash and have misfortune.”