Getty Images

Lorenzo avoids disaster; Pedrosa injured before MotoGP Japan race

Leave a comment

Two of the top riders in the FIM MotoGP World Championship have seen their weekends somewhat compromised ahead of this weekend’s Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi road course.

A heavy high-side for Jorge Lorenzo saw the Movistar Yamaha rider launch from his bike. Lorenzo, who only a little over a week ago made his maiden Formula 1 test in a Mercedes W05 chassis, was back in his natural habitat this weekend but thrown off after the accident at Turn 2, which occurred on his out lap.

Lorenzo limped off under his own power but was airlifted to a nearby hospital (Dokkyo Medical University Hospital) for a cranial CT scan, per the AFP, via Yahoo Sports. All checked out and ready to go, the ever tough Spaniard was back in the paddock before the fourth free practice, and back on his bike in the process.

Not as lucky for the weekend was Lorenzo’s countryman, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. On Friday in second free practice, Pedrosa crashed and broke his collarbone, and withdrew from the event. Hiroshi Aoyama will stand in for him.

“Pedrosa has a fracture in his right collarbone, with first indications showing it is a fracture that requires surgery,” said Dr. Xavier Mir, MotoGP Medical Team, via the series website. “The fracture is not displaced but the bone is in four pieces; circumstances that usually require surgery. Cranial trauma that we first suspected is negative – he is ok, conscious and remembers everything. He was also injured slightly on his left foot, but the collarbone is the biggest thing.

“In the history of collarbone breakages Pedrosa has suffered, this appears the least serious. It seems that he will return to Barcelona to be operated on tomorrow, although that is not yet decided for definite. The team and rider will make their own decisions regarding treatment and course of action.”

Pedrosa was more disappointed than anything, this being Honda’s home race.

“I’m obviously very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda’s home circuit and one of my favorite tracks. I was on the out-lap of my last run in FP2 when I momentarily lost the rear entering turn 11, and when the tyre found grip again it launched me in the air,” he said.

Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are chasing Marc Marquez, who looks to claim his third MotoGP title this weekend in Motegi.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.