Motorcycling - Lorenzo delighted after fifth place with broken collarbone

Jorge Lorenzo said his ride to fifth place at Assen just two days after breaking his collarbone was more satisfying than any of his MotoGP wins.

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Motorcycling - Lorenzo delighted after fifth place with broken collarbone
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2013, Jorge Lorenzo Assen injuried, Yamaha official Twitter

The reigning champion came from 12th on the grid to achieve the remarkable result despite undergoing surgery in Barcelona to fix the injury in the early hours of Friday morning, having crashed at 150mph in practice for the Dutch TT.

"It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen," said Lorenzo, who ran as high as fourth in the race.

"We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race.

"We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard.

"I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn't do more than fifth position.

"This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career."

With his title rival Dani Pedrosa only managing fourth, Lorenzo's championship bid sustained minimal damage.

He warned that despite his amazing ride in the Netherlands, he would still be recovering when the series resumes in Germany in a fortnight.

"I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100 per cent but I hope to be better than here," said Lorenzo.

"Let's see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race."

EXPERT VIEW: EUROSPORT COMMENTATOR JULIAN RYDER

All professional sportsmen and women are remarkable. They can compartmentalise pain. The thing about a collarbone for a motorcycle racer is there's no muscle there or anything. It's a simple job, a straightforward pin and plate and there's strength there.

That's what normally stops them riding, if they can't hold themselves up under the hard forces of braking against the handlebars then they can't race. If you can, you can ride. Then you've just got to deal with the pain. I say 'just'... adrenaline is a fabulous drug, but it will still hurt like hell.

It's wrong to think that this is just bravado from a motorcycle racer. It was a totally calculated act by Jorge. If he hadn't thought he could score a significant number of points he wouldn't have done it - and the result vindicated his decision.

Missing a round would have done significant damage to his championship prospects so he decided to take the pain. He scored 11 points to Pedrosa's 13, so under the circumstances that was a fabulous result.

The culture of riding injured is ingrained, it has to be said. If your main objective is to stay out of the hands of the medical profession you don't become a motorcycle racer.

Colin Edwards tried to ride with a broken collarbone a couple of years ago in Catalunya, but they wouldn't let him because it was less than 24 hours after a general anaesthetic so that's a straight no-no. Cal Crutchlow raced last year with a broken ankle.

But it's an extreme version of what happens elsewhere. If you look at any sport, it's very rare to see somebody competing fully fit. It's so rare to find any professional sportsman who is at 100 per cent. It's just that in motorcycle racing it's more dramatic.

If you ask any sportsman, they'll take breaking a long bone - which is very unpleasant and not something I'd wish on anybody - but they'd take that ahead of knee ligament damage or a dislocated shoulder.

A broken collarbone, from a medical point of view, is a Meccano job. It's as simple as it gets, nuts and bolts. Of course it hurts like blazes, but he did what all professional sportsmen did and compartmentalise it.

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