Jorge Lorenzo’s quest to catch teammate Valentino Rossi in the race to the MotoGP rider’s title experienced a small setback when he sprained his left shoulder in a training accident ahead of the Motegi Grand Prix in Japan. According to multiple reports, Lorenzo was in the middle of a training run on a minibike with other riders when he took a spill and landed on his left shoulder. He was then taken to a medical center in Barcelona where doctors diagnosed him with a grade 1 left shoulder sprain.

The injury isn’t serious enough for Lorenzo to miss the race so we can still expect him to be in the starting grid in Motegi this weekend. But it does already put him at a disadvantage to Rossi, who still has precarious 14-point lead in the championship standings. It won’t help Lorenzo’s cause that he’ll be racing in a track that’s known for having a lot of heavy braking. It helps that this brake points are mostly for right-hand corners. That doesn’t mean that Lorenzo’s not going to be in pain during the race, but these right-hand corners should keep the pain from that left shoulder down to a minimum.

As if riding trying to catch Lorenzo isn’t already hard enough on its own, the Movistar Yamaha rider must now do it with a bum shoulder. It’s going to be interesting to see how the shoulder plays a part in his ability to race, but expect it to be good news for Rossi’s title chances.

Continuer reading to read more about Jorge Lorenzo’s new injury.

Why it matters

I don’t think Jorge Lorenzo’s going to let a bum shoulder get in the way of his quest to win his third MotoGP title. It’s a setback; that much, I’ll admit. But Lorenzo didn’t come this far to let a sprained shoulder cost him his chance at a title, especially with teammate Valentino Rossi leading by just 14 points.

Besides, it’s not like this is the first time this season that a rider suffered an injured shoulder only to come back and post an impressive result. Remember, Ducati’s Andrea Iannone actually dislocated his shoulder the week before the Aragon Grand Prix. Not only did he have the dislocated joint put back in place in a local hospital, he actually competed in the race and finished fourth in the grand prix. And if past experiences are any indication, Lorenzo shouldn’t have any trouble at Montegi. Back in 2013 at the Assen Grand Prix, Lorenzo actually broke his collarbone during the second free practice of the race. He was immediately flown to Barcelona to have surgery to plate the collarbone before returning to Assen to compete in the race, finishing fifth after starting from 12th on the grid.

This is one tough Spanish rider so any thoughts of him actually missing the Montegi Grand Prix with so much at stake should be eliminated. Lorenzo will race at the GP and I’m confident that he’s going to turn a performance that’ll keep him in the title hunt.

Source: GPOne

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