Lorenzo ruled out of this weekend's MotoGP race at Assen
The world champion falls off his Yamaha during practice and shatters collarbone, to return to Barcelona for surgery
Even if you're not the superstitious kind, we wouldn't be surprised to know that you feel someone's cast an evil eye on the all-conquering, previous-two-MotoGP-races-winning, reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo. He waltzed his way to a win at Mugello, and dominated at Catalunya as well. He led in the testing session at Barcelona afterwards, and set the quickest lap time during the Free Practice session at Assen today. Which is when he finally ran out of luck.
After setting a properly quick lap time in the dry, Lorenzo kept at it as the rain clouds arrived during FP2. Riding through the downpour, Lorenzo's Yamaha hit standing water and only had a sniff at the white line at the fast Hoge Heide right-hander, before catapulting the Spaniard off the saddle while the bike was still doing well over 200 clicks. When Lorenzo got back on his feet, clutching his wrist, it was clear that some bones had been more than rattled. And after a quick diagnosis, it was confirmed: Lorenzo fractured his left collarbone, and as a result, will not take part in the Dutch round of the MotoGP. A shame, considering he was the quickest even in the wet, and with his broken collarbone to be tended to in Barcelona this weekend, will now not have a chance to stitch together a hat-trick of victories.
In other news, on an afternoon when the fastest lap time changed hands 23 times, Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez notched up the quickest lap in the rain, followed by Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, whose practice laps were encouraging, if not entirely reassuring. Marquez's team-mate and current championship leader Dani Pedrosa was only slower than these two, and with his lead being threatened by Lorenzo's spectacular showing in the last two races, will now heave a sigh of relief at the Spaniard's abrupt exit. Come Saturday, will someone else take the fight to Repsol Honda's No.1?