Jorge Lorenzo back for Malaysian GP | MotoGP
Jorge Lorenzo will be back for weekend’s Malaysian GP, after noted Spanish surgeon Dr Xavier Mir fixed damage ligaments in an operation after he flew home following the Japanese GP.
Lorenzo, already carrying foot injuries from a first-corner fall at Aragon, suffered the left wrist injuries after his factory Ducati apparently seized on the first day of practice at the end of the straight at the Chang circuit for the Thai GP, triggering a spectacular high-side crash.
He attempted to ride at the Japanese race, but pulled out in pain before completing one timed lap in the first free practice.
According to Ducati team boss Paolo Ciabatta, Dr Mir found the previously undiagnosed ligament damage and was able to repair it in a simple surgical procedure.
Although he would not be at full fitness, the doctor had said he would be able to ride at Sepang. “If it proves not possible, [factory tester] Michele Pirro will be there to take over,” he said.
Pirro was not able to step in at Phillip Island, he continued, because he was conducting “a very important test at Valencia”. The vacant seat went to Angel Nieto Ducati team rider Alvaro Bautista. He had a difficult first day, after an electronic glitch sidelined one bike for the whole day, and a crash damaged the other one.
The Spaniard’s seat at the independent team went to Australian Ducati Superbike rider Mike Jones, who filled a similar role in 2016, riding in place of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Ducati in Japan and Australia, while Barbera was substituting for injured factory rider Andrea Iannone. Jones scored a point for 15th in Japan.