Lorenzo suffering after making MotoGP comeback at Silverstone

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Jorge Lorenzo conceded he struggled to cope with the physical demands of MotoGP during Friday's practice session at Silverstone following an absence.

Lorenzo had missed the past four rounds after fracturing vertebrae in his back in a crash during practice at Assen in June.

The Spaniard targeted the British Grand Prix as his comeback race, but he struggled in practice, finishing last on the combined times and 3.682 seconds off leader Fabio Quartararo, and Lorenzo acknowledges he needs to be patient.

"It has been a tough day because you never feel very comfortable when you are in the last positions and you are last like I was," Lorenzo said.

"It is the situation that we have now and to try to push creates crashes and the consequences that you can imagine, so for the moment it is the situation that I have.

"My back has not healed completely, and I have pain, especially after FP2, and I have lost muscle mass and my physical conditions is not used to MotoGP because of two months without bikes. Little by little, I need to be patient to get through this race."

Lorenzo added he is unsure if he will be able to complete the full 20 laps on Sunday.

"I don’t know yet. After the second practice I started to feel more pain on my back compared to yesterday," the Repsol Honda driver said.

"Every practice that I will do, it will be worse for my back, but I need to manage it and try to manage the right laps, to be able to make the maximum pace and get the right laps without getting worse with my injury.

"Almost everywhere I have problems physically, in braking, also in the middle of the corners with my neck as my neck lost a lot of muscle, and the change of direction.

"I have the pain in the back and I move very slowly, so everything I do very slowly. It shows that in my three-and-a-half seconds off to the fastest ones."

 

 

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    "But it's life, it's like this and I'll try to enjoy it as much as possible and come back."

    "I don't think the pole was out of reach," added Leclerc, who was 0.220 seconds behind Verstappen in a session that saw the top drivers closely bunched together.

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    PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

    1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:07.508
    2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0.123s
    3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.191s
    4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.220s (has 10-place grid penalty)
    5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.366s
    6. Alexander Albon (Red Bull) +0.427s
    7. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) +1.329s 
    8. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +1.346s
    9. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1.476s
    10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.529s

  • MotoGP Raceweek: Jorge Lorenzo has it all to do at final race in Valencia MotoGP Raceweek: Jorge Lorenzo has it all to do at final race in Valencia

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    MARQUEZ NOT ON FAVOURED GROUND

    Lorenzo's struggles have been emphasised by the dominant form of Marquez, who has already wrapped up a sixth premier class title and finished in the top two for all but one race in 2019.

    Marquez's 395 points and 17 podiums this season are already MotoGP records, but he will want to end a poor – by his standards – record in Valencia with a victory to sail over the 400-mark for a tally that may never be beaten. 

    He has won on just one of his six appearances at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with Andrea Dovizioso having triumphed last year. Dani Pedrosa (four) shares the Valencia wins record with Lorenzo.

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    SIX APPEAL FOR QUARTARARO

    Quartararo claimed his sixth pole position, equalling Christian Sarron as the French rider with the most MotoGP poles – a significant accomplishment in his rookie season.

    He has managed six podium finishes but a first race win still eludes him, and this is his final chance to strike before a 2020 campaign where he could kick on to become a championship contender on a factory-spec Yamaha.

    Dovizioso, meanwhile, is in striking distance from sixth. The Italian has charged through from further back to challenge in multiple races this season and is looking to make his 10th podium in a MotoGP season for the first time.

    Elsewhere, Alex Rins was second to Dovizioso here last year and will start his 50th MotoGP race in eighth position.

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    MARQUEZ COULD JOIN MARQUEZ

    Johann Zarco, riding for LCR Honda in the absence of Takaaki Nakagami, failed to reach Q2 and will start 13th. 

    He had been rumoured as a possible replacement for Lorenzo at Repsol Honda, but reports this weekend suggest Marquez's brother, Moto2 champion Alex, is now in line for the move.

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    THE GRID

    1. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 
    2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 
    3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 
    4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 
    5. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) 
    6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 
    7. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 
    8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 
    9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 
    10. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 
    11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM)
    12. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)

    PREVIOUS WINNERS

    2018: Andrea Dovizioso
    2017: Dani Pedrosa (with Honda)
    2016: Jorge Lorenzo (with Yamaha)
    2015: Jorge Lorenzo (with Yamaha)

    TITLE STANDINGS

    Riders

    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 395
    2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 256 (-139)
    3. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 201 (-194)
    4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 194 (-201)
    5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 176 (-219) 

    Teams

    1. Ducati 432
    2. Repsol Honda 430 (-2)
    3. Monster Energy Yamaha 367 (-65)
    4. Petronas Yamaha 287 (-145)
    5. Suzuki Ecstar 281 (-151) 

    WEATHER FORECAST

    A dry race with a gentle breeze and temperatures of around 15 degrees Celcius is expected on Sunday.

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