MotoGP world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo is confident he will be able to continue the brilliant start to his premier class career in China next month after undergoing successful surgery to cure an arm pump problem.
The 20-year-old had an operation on his right arm only just a day after his stunning debut MotoGP win in Estoril, and he is confident the surgery won’t impact on his Shanghai performance.
The Fiat Yamaha rider, who has claimed three pole positions and three podiums in his first three races, underwent surgery at the Institut Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona.
Lorenzo has been dogged by the arm pump problem in the first three races and he had reluctantly decided to undergo surgery after encountering more problems in Portugal, where his win moved him level on points with Dani Pedrosa at the top of the MotoGP title race.
The gap between Estoril and China gave him chance to make a full recovery before the Shanghai race, whereas had he delayed he would have had to wait until the July/August summer break.
The double world 250 champion said: “I was a little bit scared before the operation but hoped!
“It was a hard decision to make but I think it was the best one for us because China is close, but not too close and we have time to recover.
“I have had pain at all three races, including Portugal, and at times it was very hard to ride the bike at the maximum, so we knew that the operation was the right course of action.
“Together with my surgeon we decided to operate on only one arm, the right, because in this way the recovery will be quicker than if we had done both.
“It seems that, with many other riders, doing just one arm has solved the problem. At the moment we believe that this is enough, but we will reassess after the next race.
“The doctor assures me that I will be in China and able to ride. There isn’t so much time but this is the last possible opportunity before the summer break, without having to miss races.
“I have some time to recover now and I will be doing the maximum to make sure I am in good shape in China – in fact I’ll be there whatever, even if I have to ride with only one hand.
“Now I will return to my home in London as soon as possible and relax there before I fly to China. The biggest problem at the moment is that it’s quite hard to do things for myself, so my mother is going to have to look after me!”
Dr. Xavier Mir, a surgeon who has carried out similar operations on Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias, said the operation had been a success.
He said: “The operation has been a success and the wounds are healing quickly.
“We decided to only operate on one arm because we believe it is better to enable Jorge to arrive in the best shape in China.
“Many riders have had this kind of operation and time has shown that they often don’t need the operation on the other arm.
“Jorge now starts his recovery and, with an elite athlete such as him, we expect it to be quicker than usual.”