Lorenzo avoids disaster; Pedrosa injured before MotoGP Japan race

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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.