Jorge Lorenzo Assen Crash Injury Update
Before the 2011 MotoGP Championship, Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo didn't have many qualms with the Assen TT circuit in the Netherlands.
The Spaniard had won the Dutch TT four times across all classes, including a dominating win by almost three seconds ahead of his fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa in 2010.
But then the curse began. In 2011, Lorenzo suffered a first-lap crash, causing a sixth-place finish and loss of many points to the eventual title winner, Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda).
In 2012, things got worse when Alvaro Bautista took out Lorenzo on the first corner, something similar to what the GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider did this season with Valentino Rossi at Mugello. But Lorenzo wouldn't be able to restart. He would suffered a DNF.
As for this year, things got much, much worse. Lorenzo, who was fastest during the opening practice of the Dutch TT Thursday, suffered a high-speed crash during the second free practice, which was plagued by rain. The crash occurred at the fastest corner of Assen – the Hoge Heide section running up to Ramshoek, which precedes the Geert Timmer chicane.
Hitting the tarmac at well over 125 mph, Lorenzo fractured his left clavicle with a "slight shift" that requires surgery. Yamaha Factory Racing reports Lorenzo will fly to Barcelona Thursday evening, and will undergo surgery Friday.
Of course, this means Lorenzo will not start Saturday's Assen MotoGP round. Lorenzo knows he has this curse following him, though he says confidence was the number-one reason for his Assen crash.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I think I was too confident, at the moment of the crash I was very fast and felt very strong, but maybe the conditions weren’t the perfect ones to have this high confidence.
"I entered the corner faster than the previous lap and I think touched a patch of water, or maybe aquaplaned which made the rear wheel light and touch onto the white line, making it a lot worse which is why I crashed. I flew and when I hit the ground I broke my collarbone.
"I don't have anything negative with this circuit, just bad luck or in this case, too much confidence. You must always be optimistic, things could be worse and I will try to recover as soon as possible.”
The question now is when will Lorenzo return.
Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager) says: "Jorge has made the decision to fly to Barcelona for the necessary surgery, we are confident that his recovery will be quick and he will be back as soon as possible."
Lorenzo will need to return as soon as possible if he wants to earn a third title. Heading into Assen, Lorenzo was coming off two consecutive wins (Catalunya, Mugello), allowing him to get within seven points of the current championship leader, Pedrosa.
But with Pedrosa's biggest threat sidelined, he can more easily chase his first premier-class title. So far this season, Pedrosa finished second or better in five of six rounds, including two wins. Besides Lorenzo, the next biggest threat is his teammate Marc Marquez, who trails by 30 points after six of 18 rounds.