Injured Lorenzo withdraws from Race of Champions

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LONDON – Jorge Lorenzo has withdrawn from this weekend’s Race of Champions in London due to injury.

Two weeks on from winning his third MotoGP world title at Valencia, Lorenzo had been due to take part in the multi-discipline challenge that pits racers from a variety of different series up against each other in an array of cars.

However, it was confirmed on Thursday that Lorenzo would be taking no part in the Race of Champions as planned after sustaining a burn on his leg.

“I’m really sad that I cannot go to the Race Of Champions this year but during the celebrations in Mallorca I burned my leg on the bike,” Lorenzo said.

“I really hoped it would heal by now but due to potential complications from sweating inside the overalls, the doctors have forbidden me to do it. I know I would have had great fans supporting me in London so I’m sorry to be missing it.

“This is a great event and I hope you all enjoy watching all the action. Now I will try as hard as possible to be back at the Race Of Champions next year instead.”

Lorenzo will be replaced by six-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy, who has embarked on a career in motor racing since retiring from competitive cycling in 2013.

Hoy had been due to take part in the celebrity race at London’s former Olympic Stadium, but will now step up to partner Romain Grosjean for Team All-Stars in the ROC Nations Cup on Friday.

“I’m really excited to get this late call-up,” Hoy said. “I don’t expect to be as fast as the real professionals but I’ll do my very best.

“Of course I’m sorry to hear about Jorge’s injury too but this is a wonderful opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it. Now I’ll try to put on a show for the fans in the stadium in London tomorrow.”

Lorenzo’s place in the individual Race of Champions event on Saturday has been taken by British racing driver Bradley Philpot, winner of the ROC Factor competition.

Philpot was one of two drivers to be invited to take part in a shoot-out at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday, and was selected by the judges to take part in the Race of Champions after edging out Ireland’s Des Foley on track.

“It’s completely out of the blue, something starting very small as a Twitter competition which you’ve got hardly any chance to win, and then suddenly we’re here and this is actually happening,” Philpot told MotorSportsTalk. “Crazy, but I’m happy.”

The Race of Champions kicks off with the Nations Cup in London on Friday night.