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Lorenzo Retires Following Sachsenring Free Practice Crash

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo will not continue to participate in this weekend’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland following a high speed crash this afternoon in the second of the day’s free practice sessions. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo had been the fastest rider of the morning session, despite still recovering from surgery just two weeks ago on a collarbone injury sustained in practice for the Assen TT.

The afternoon session had started well with the Mallorcan flying straight into the top of the time sheets with a 1’22.047 second lap. The success was to be short-lived however as less than ten minutes in Lorenzo suffered a huge high-side crash, falling heavily onto the injured shoulder. He was taken immediately to the medical centre for x-rays where it was revealed he had damaged the plate inserted in surgery just two weeks ago. As a result the decision has been made to withdraw from this weekend’s Grand Prix. Lorenzo will fly home to Barcelona this evening and will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair any damage.

Team mate Valentino Rossi carried his confidence from his race win in Assen two weeks ago to the morning session and was quickly up to pace and a serious contender in the top group of riders, wrapping in third just 0.194 seconds from Lorenzo in first. The afternoon saw a more complex session for the Italian as the team worked through a number of different settings and tyre choices to get the best out of the YZR-M1 as the track temperature increased. Rossi completed the first day in fourth position in the combined times just 0.2 of a second from the front.

Jorge Lorenzo 2nd / 1’22.047 / 22 laps

“I have decided to go home and recover after today’s crash at Sachsenring. I prefer to focus on surgery to fix the plate that was unfortunately bent during the crash. I will try to recover and be back as soon as possible.”

Valentino Rossi 4th / 1’22.241 / 38 laps

“At the end it’s a positive day for us, the practices were not so bad. Our pace and lap time was good and we are not so far from the front. This afternoon we had some difficulties when we tried some different things on the bike, the harder front tyre and some different settings. It looks like when the track has more temperature it gives us more problems, especially after some laps, so to ride the bike at the limit is more difficult. We have to work on the setting to improve our pace to stay with the front. Anyway we are not so far. Five or six riders have good pace so it will be interesting tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“Second practice here in Sachsenring has gone wrong like in Assen. This morning fastest and this afternoon a fast crash on maybe the second or third lap. Again he has hit the left shoulder and the plate has been bent. It’s obviously very painful so we need to consider and step by step decide what the plan is for the coming days.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“Following from such a strong performance in Assen this is not how we wanted to start the Sachsenring weekend. Unfortunately Jorge has further complicated the injury to his shoulder in this afternoon’s crash so will need to return home for surgery tomorrow. We are very sorry to see him leave us however he has his full team support and we know he will come back fighting as soon as it is physically possible. It was good to see Vale start today with the same promise and pace we saw in Assen. We have some issues to work through to find the best set up to cope with warmer temperatures at the track but we are confident he will be a key protagonist on Sunday.”

Doctor Enric Cáceres

Member of the Immediate Intervention Dexeus to MotoGP

“The diagnosis after the fall is that the osteosynthesis material is bent in the middle. The screws of the proximal and distal have endured but Jorge will need a new intervention to re-attach the clavicle, because the plate has been curved slightly.”

Difficult start to Sachsenring weekend for Crutchlow and Smith

The start of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland today proved to be a difficult one for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith unable to break into the top 10 on an incident-packed opening day of practice. Smith found the tight and twisty Sachsenring layout, which is dominated by left-hand corners, a tough physical challenge for his recovering left wrist injury.

The scaphoid bone he damaged in a crash last month in Mugello is still not back to 100% strength and it was tested to the limit today, with the extra stress placed on the left side of his body only adding to the challenge of getting accustomed to the German venue on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine.

Gradually building up his pace and confidence in cool and cloudy conditions this morning, Smith was able to lap almost 0.7s faster in warmer weather for FP2 and climb from 15th to 11th in the rankings. The 22-year-old’s impressive pace of 1.23.040 was just over 0.1s away from the top 10 and less than 0.5s outside of the top six and on combined times he finished in an encouraging 12th position.

Crutchlow’s bid to secure a fourth podium of 2013 got off to a tough start, the on form British rider suffering two fast crashes today. This morning’s FP1 had only a few seconds to run when Crutchlow crashed heavily at the first corner while he was attempting to improve on sixth position. Shaken but not stirred in that incident, the 27-year-old then fell again in FP2 at the Sachsenring’s famous Turn 11, which is a super-fast left-hander with a downhill blind entry taken flat-out in fourth gear.

Crutchlow was able to walk away from the high-speed crash but he underwent checks on a suspected left arm injury before X-rays confirmed he had escaped any serious damage. He did suffer numerous cuts and abrasions to his hands and arms in the second crash but nothing that will prevent him from participating in tomorrow’s action.

Bradley Smith 11th 1.23.040 – 24 laps

“It was a positive day. The Sachsenring is a very physical track, especially for the left side of the body, but it is not giving me too much of a problem. That is great because it proves all the hard work with my physiotherapist back in the UK has paid off with my wrist. It is not at 100% but it is much better than in Assen and I can ride with less discomfort and pain. I’m a bit disappointed not to be inside the top 10 but I felt I didn’t quite put the best lap together today, so I am sure we can improve for tomorrow. We have a clear direction to improve the setting I have no doubt my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew will improve our package for tomorrow. I am feeling confident and excited to improve tomorrow.”

2013 MotoGP Germany

Sachsenring 12/07/2013

1 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’22.030
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’22.047
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’22.221
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’22.241
5 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’22.251
6 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’22.469
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’22.572
8 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’22.641
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’22.850
10 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’22.882
11 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’23.008
12 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’23.040
13 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’23.131
14 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’23.491
15 Yonny Hernandez ART COL 1’23.524

Circuit Length:
3671

Weather:
Sunny

Lap Record:
1’21.846
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2011)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’21.067
(Casey Stoner, 13-7-2008)

Last Years Winner:
Daniel Pedrosa