The award for bravery goes to Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo after such an eventful day that went from him going to hospital via helicopter following a high-side in FP3 and led to him securing a front row start ahead of the 15th round of the MotoGP season at the Twin Ring Motegi where the elite class are meeting for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan.
Huge high-side for the Spaniard
Near the end of the third Free Practice session of the weekend Lorenzo had a huge high-side at turn two of the track. He was thrown incredibly high in the air and then came down hard on the track, bounced and then continued tumbling into the gravel trap.
Although he was able to walk, supported as he limped, into the medical centre where he was checked initially. As a precaution they took him via helicopter to the Dokkyo Hospital in Utsunomya City where he underwent a CT scan. Fortunately he was declared fit to continue on the day and despite feeling battered and bruised went on to put in an admirable performance.
Brave post-crash performance from Lorenzo
He was understandably the last one out on track during Qualifying 2 after he pushed hard in the final Free Practice session. Waiting for a quiet space on the track he initially went from tenth to second with his second flying lap; he then returned to the pits for a short stop.
When he returned to the track, followed by Avintia Ducati rider Hector Barbera making his debut on the factory Ducati in place of injured rider Andrea Iannone, he was able to reduce his time by just under two tenths of a second, and his time of 1:44.221 (0.267 seconds slower than the pole position time set by his teammate Valentino Rossi on his Movistar Yamaha) was enough to secure him third meaning the Spaniard will start from the front row of the grid.
Lorenzo discusses his racing incident and Qualifying
At the end of the day, Lorenzo described how he was feeling “much better than a few hours ago” as he found the “painkillers and the adrenalin” from riding his bike “improved [his] feelings”. He spoke of how he was “scared to get injured” when he returned after his FP3 incident saying, “Especially fot the left leg where I had the biggest impact.”
He described his high-side as a “big crash”, but told of how he “was able to make it back for Qualifying” during which he felt he “did great”; he was especially pleased “on the first lap in [his] second stint”. He admitted that he “didn’t do so much on the second try”.
He was complimentary to his teammate saying that “Rossi’s lap time was incredible and also Marquez’s time”. He felt it “wasn’t possible to make it a pole position” however he admitted that they found it “much better than [they] expected when [he] arrived back at the track”.
Lorenzo has the potential to take second in the championship should the results work out to his advantage.