Motegi MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo on brink of world title

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Jorge Lorenzo could win in his first MotoGP world championship crown in Malaysia next weekend.

The 23-year-old was already in a commanding position with a 56-point lead over Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa before disaster struck the Repsol Honda rider in Japan today.

Pedrosa broke his left collarbone in three places when he lost control of his factory Honda RC212V machine in the early stages of this afternoon’s opening practice session.

The injury blow has killed of Pedrosa’s hopes of exerting more pressure on Fiat Yamaha rival Lorenzo, who is now likely to clinch his maiden premier class crown at the Sepang circuit next weekend.

The double world 250GP champion will need to 75-points clear of Pedrosa heading to the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island later this month.

But with Pedrosa flying back to Europe today for surgery on his smashed collarbone, Lorenzo is a certainty to win the title.

Speaking at the Twin Ring Motegi today when he learned the extent of the damage to Pedrosa’s shoulder, Lorenzo said: “Well, obviously the best way to win the world title is with all the riders in the best condition and all the riders competing. But races are like that and everybody gets injured sometimes.

"I got injured in 2008 and Valentino this year and now, bad luck is for Dani. It is not good news for the championship, but obviously for us, for the championship and for the points, it’s good.”

Lorenzo denied he would now change his approach in the final five races having no threat to his title hopes.

He was only fourth at the previous race at the Motorland Aragon circuit to miss the podium for the first time in 2010.

He added: “Being honest, I was quite happy and I was happy with the result in Aragon. I raced quite aggressive and the best way I could ride. But there we have so many problems and the only position we can get was fourth.

"I don’t race with a calculator or something like that. I race more or less always at the limit and now I will race the same.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt