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Andrea Dovizioso tops the timesheets on the opening day of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. Jorge Lorenzo withdraws from the Motegi race due to problems with his left wrist


Andrea Dovizioso headed the field on the opening day of free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, which will be held this weekend at the Motegi circuit. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider was the quickest in the morning’s dry FP1 session with a time of 1’45.353, and he then opted not to go out on track again in FP2 because of the rain that fell in the early afternoon.

This morning Jorge Lorenzo only completed two laps of the Japanese circuit before returning to the pits to stop because of the pain in his left wrist, which was injured in a crash two weeks ago at Buriram. The Spanish rider yesterday underwent a CT scan in Utsunomiya Hospital which unfortunately was not positive for his ongoing recovery from the hairline fracture. In the evening Lorenzo will have a further MR scan which should give medical staff all the information necessary to decide on the best possible treatment for the rider to speed up his recovery and determine how much time will be required before he returns to the races.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (1’45.353)
“This morning we immediately started off very well in the FP1 session and my feeling was very good. For the race we will still have to improve but starting off with such a good base on Friday morning really makes a difference. We already know what to work on and the braking is surely the most important aspect in this circuit. We didn’t go out in the afternoon, even though we wanted to try a few things, but the track conditions made it too much of a risk to try and push hard. In any case our Desmosedici GP works particularly well here at Motegi and tomorrow we hope to find the track dry so as to be able to work for the race.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99)
“After doing as much as possible to quickly recover from the injury to my wrist caused by the crash in Thailand, today I tried to go out on track to see how I felt on the bike. Yesterday my feelings weren’t very positive and unfortunately today I had confirmation not only of the pain that the riding was giving me, but also that there was a serious risk of making the fracture worse. It’s a real pity not to be able to race here because Motegi is a circuit that I like a lot, it adapts well to the characteristics of the bike and I wanted to score a good result. I feel really bad for my team and for the fans, but now I only have to be patient and try and recover as best as possible to be ready in Australia or in Malaysia.”