Jorge Lorenzo is out of the Thai GP, after a mechanical failure for his factory Ducati triggered a huge crash yesterday, exacerbating injuries sustained two weeks ago when he crashed at the first corner of the Aragon GP.
Although he was passed fit to ride yesterday, he decided overnight that he would not be capable, interrupting a run of the strongest possible form as his Ducati career draws to an end.
He dislocated the big toe and suffered a metacarpal fracture to his right foot in the Aragon crash, but said that he’d been feeling quite okay on the bike yesterday afternoon, when “suddenly by bike threw me through the air.”
He wasn’t sure if the cause was some braking error because of his foot injury. Then Ducati confirmed it had been “something technical – and this was my relief.”
It was bad luck it had happened, but “good luck, because I could have been more hurt.”
He was back on crutches after thumping the injured foot down, but the bigger problem was a fresh injury to his left wrist. “There are some small fissures at the end of the radius bone, and it is very painful,” he said.
If he had been fighting for the championship, he might have tried to race to see if he could win a few points, “but as it is there is just a chance I would make it worse,” he continued, adding that he was also doubtful of being able to race at Motegi in a fortnight.
Yesterday’s crash was a very violent high-side after his Ducati’s engine audibly slowed and the rear wheel skidded as he was braking for the first-gear corner at the end of the first kilometre-long straight.
It did not look like a sudden engine or transmission seize, but more probably a malfunction of the engine-braking software or the reverse-torque-limiting slipper clutch. Another possibility is an assembly problem or other quirk that caused the rear brake to be applied.
Ducati admitted it had been a mechanical failure, but kept the details secret, saying only that they were “confident it will not happen again”.
By Michael Scott
Photos GnG Photos