‘Man of Steel’ Lorenzo races to top five

‘Man of Steel’ Lorenzo races to top five
Saturday, 29 June 2013

On a remarkable weekend for Yamaha Factory Racing, their World Champion rider Jorge Lorenzo earned a new nickname as MotoGP™’s ‘Man of Steel’, riding to a priceless fifth place at the Iveco TT Assen despite a broken collarbone.

Whilst his teammate Valentino Rossi got back to winning ways for the first time since 2010, Lorenzo ended the race utterly drained after riding through the pain barrier over 26 laps to ensure that he conceded only two points to title rival Dani Pedrosa in the standings.

Lorenzo’s presence in the race had itself seemed miraculous, given that he flew from Assen to Barcelona on Thursday evening for surgery on a broken collarbone after his high-speed free practice crash. He faced a rigorous fitness test on Saturday morning to prove he could ride safely with a newly-fitted plate and eight screws securing the broken bone.

Summarising an astonishing last 36 hours, Lorenzo stated: “It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen. We were brave to do the operation the same day, (but) if I had waited until Friday the doctors would not have let me race.”

Lorenzo had started from 12th on the grid but had risen to fifth by Lap 2, before making it in front of fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow into fourth. As the laps wound down, exhaustion set in and with 11 tours to go Lorenzo was retaken by Crutchlow - but he held on to fifth place and earned 11 crucial championship points.

“I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after Lap 7 every lap was worse,” he continued. “It was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate, so I couldn't do more than fifth position.”

The result means Lorenzo remains second in the standings and is just nine points behind Pedrosa as they head to Sachsenring in two weeks’ time. “We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the championship,” Lorenzo commented. “This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany; I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here.”

Even after such an immense physical effort, the reigning MotoGP™ title holder had time to congratulate his teammate Rossi, adding: “I am happy for Valentino. More than two years without winning has been hard for him, so I’m happy for my garage partner. After Aragon (testing) I think he made some improvements and here he took advantage of the opportunity.”

Looking ahead to the German event, Lorenzo is yet to claim victory at the Sachsenring in any category of the World Championship.

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