Jorge Lorenzo has declared that this weekend’s Misano MotoGP round will be the first time he has been back to full fitness since before his collarbone injuries.
The world champion needed two bouts of surgery after heavy accidents at consecutive events in the Netherlands and Germany earlier in the summer. Those crashes halted the momentum of his campaign just after back to back wins in Italy and Spain.
Lorenzo ended his victory drought with a hard-fought triumph over Marc Marquez in Britain last month, and now believes he is finally back in proper physical shape.
“I feel strong again like I was at Montmelo and Mugello before the crash,” he said. “The performance at Silverstone was really good, the only weak point there was the top speed compared to our rivals, but at last we achieved a great victory against Marc.
“Misano is a track I enjoy a lot and also the Yamaha is comfortable there. My next goal is to fight for the victory once more and think race by race, improving our pace step by step.”
Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg said the Silverstone win had been a huge morale boost for the team after a run of Honda domination.
“After the last round in Silverstone we are of course quite motivated for the next race,” said Zeelenberg. “I cannot say that our bike is better or worse than our competitors in Misano because finally last year we took the win and Dani [Pedrosa] had some problems.
“The most important thing is that Jorge is fit again and is feeling fine so I expect a great challenge at Misano.”
HOW INJURIES TURNED THE TIDE
Marquez’s progress into the MotoGP world championship lead in his rookie season is one of the most astonishing stories in motorcycle racing history.
But it came about through a combination of Marquez’s own rapid development and badly timed injuries for rivals Lorenzo and Pedrosa, who damaged their collarbones at Assen and the Sachsenring, respectively.
Points from six races before injuries
1 Pedrosa 123
2 Lorenzo 116
3 Marquez 93
Points from six races since Assen
1 Marquez 140
2 Pedrosa 80
3 Lorenzo 78
Standings with six rounds to go
1 Marquez 233
2 Pedrosa 203
3 Lorenzo 194