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Disaster for Lorenzo Whilst Rossi Finds Form in Assen

Despite being the fastest rider in the first day of practice today, the Assen TT proved again to be a disaster for the third year running for current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Mallorcan had dominated the morning dry session and had shown an impressive pace in the afternoon’s wet practice until a huge high side at the fastest corner of the track. The first diagnosis is a left clavicle fracture which will require surgery. As a result the title challenger will miss Saturday’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Team mate Valentino Rossi’s confidence in the improved set up of the YZR-M1 after the recent Spanish test continued today with the Italian nine-time champion showing a competitive pace in both the morning dry session and afternoon wet practice. Rossi was fourth in the morning, 0.6 seconds from first in the dry, then rose to second in the afternoon downpour, just 0.25 seconds from front man Marc Marquez.

Valentino Rossi – 4th / 1’35.958 / 36 laps

“It’s been a positive day for us because in the dry it was not so bad this morning, we continued to work with our new setting and the first impression was positive, although we still have to work to improve. We had something important to try this afternoon in the dry but unfortunately it was wet. Anyway we continued our work in the wet and it was a good practice, we did a good job with our new setting and the bike was also very good in the wet. I improved lap by lap; I had good pace and I was in second position. We have to continue to work in both conditions, everybody knows here in Assen it can be wet or dry. Unfortunately Jorge had a big crash and an injury. It’s a great pity for Yamaha, for the Team and for him as he is fighting for the Championship. I hope that he comes back as soon as possible, hopefully for the next race in Sachsenring. I hope to do a good result because I am now the man of the team for Yamaha, for the Factory team and all the guys.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“Unfortunately we didn’t start the practice in Assen as we wanted. Jorge, after an incredible free practice one, had a crash in the wet in the afternoon and he broke his collarbone. This is a real pity as we were coming from two brilliant results and looking for a third. We have to accept this, it is part of our sport. We wish him the best to come back as soon as possible and stronger than before. Vale did two good practices, it seems the feeling he was looking for in the front is back. Fortunately we had the opportunity to test in Barcelona and in Aragon to find it. Let’s see tomorrow what we can do. Here it is very difficult to predict the weather forecast but we are ready whatever the circumstances.”

Dr. Xavier Mir – Chief of Hand Surgery at the Dexeus Hospital (Barcelona) and MotoGP Team Medical Doctor

“Jorge has a high inertia trauma but results are normal from initial neurological examination. We will move to Assen to make head and chest scans and also an abdominal exploration. Our first diagnosis revealed that there is a left clavicle fracture with a slight shift that will need surgery to repair the bone. This injury is in the background while we rule out any other major injury that may become apparent within 24 hours. These kind of impacts at more than 200 km/h need some time for the body to recover to be able to discard any other major injuries. In principle tomorrow he can travel and within 48 hours he will be operable.”

Crutchlow fast in wet and dry conditions in Assen

Preparations for the unique Dutch TT started in contrasting weather conditions at the historic Assen track today, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow demonstrating a fast and competitive pace in dry and wet practice sessions. The British rider made a confident start to the seventh round of the 2013 campaign in cool and overcast conditions this morning and a lap of 1.35.613 placed him second on the leaderboard behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Crutchlow was the only rider to lap within 0.5s of Lorenzo’s blistering FP1 pace and he was optimistic he could have challenged for the top three again this afternoon. Torrential rain started to hammor down on the Assen track, which hosts the only Saturday race on the MotoGP schedule, just 15 minutes before the start of FP2. Crutchlow started the session supremely confident of his potential in the rain after he raced to a career best second position on a wet track at Le Mans last month. His confidence was well placed and he led the timesheets in the final stages of the session but rather than take unnecessary risks he opted to pull into the pits and was not out on track when a host of riders improved their pace right at the end. He eventually finished seventh.

Today was a positive experience for Bradley Smith, the British rider producing another impressive display just 10 days after he underwent double surgery on his left hand and wrist in Barcelona. The 22-year-old had a screw inserted in the scaphoid bone in his left wrist that he damaged in a crash during practice for the recent Mugello round and while the operation was a success, he is still experiencing pain and discomfort in the hard braking zones at Assen. Smith was immediately fast on his YZR-M1 machine in FP1 though and a personal best lap of 1.37.002 placed him 10th and just over a second outside of the top three. With FP2 a rain-soaked affair and with further wet weather forecast for tomorrow, Smith’s outstanding effort to finish in the top 10 this morning could have earned him a deserved place in tomorrow afternoon’s QP2.

Cal Crutchlow 2nd / 1’35.613 / 38 laps

“I am really happy with today. I was second in the dry this morning although I need to improve my pace in the first sector because the gap to Lorenzo in that section was pretty big. The gap of everybody else was pretty big to be fair and Jorge was doing an amazing job. It’s a huge shame that he got injured in FP2 and I wish him a speedy recovery because the Championship is not the same with him not in it. In the rain this afternoon I was very comfortable and I am one of the fastest on track. Before the end of the session I didn’t want to take any risks so I came into the pits and lost a few places. Had I stayed out I am sure I could have been in the top three again but I am happy enough with my performance in both conditions.”

Bradley Smith 10th / 1’37.002 / 31 laps:

“This morning was very positive being in the top 10. I was determined to try and get in the top 10 in case the rain continues and it means I am immediately into QP2 and that’s very good. I don’t feel too bad physically at the moment but my wrist is still hurting quite a lot and I need to see if I can reduce the pain, especially in the braking area. I had a good pace in the wet and I got behind Valentino for three laps and that helped and he didn’t really pull away. I only did 11-laps in the rain because it wasn’t worth taking too many risks and I didn’t want to stress the wrist too much.”

2013 MotoGP Netherlands

Assen 27/06/2013

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’35.263
2 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’35.613
3 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’35.883
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’35.958
5 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’36.034
6 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’36.430
7 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’36.559
8 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’36.763
9 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’36.910
10 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’37.002
11 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’37.041
12 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’37.153
13 Karel Abraham ART CZE 1’37.346
14 Hector Barbera FTR ESP 1’37.456
15 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’37.489

Circuit Length:
4555

Weather:
Rain

Lap Record:
1’34.525
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2010)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’33.713
(Casey Stoner, 30-6-2012)

Last Years Winner:
Casey Stoner