Yamaha has released a statement saying that factory MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo underwent successful surgery to his left ring finger in Melbourne after Sunday’s Australian GP. Lorenzo injured his hand during a violent tankslapper coming out of Turn 12 during the race warm-up session at Phillip Island. The tragic incident caused the Spanish rider to miss racing in Australia, effectively handing the 2011 MotoGP Championship to Casey Stoner. Thankfully however, early reports indicate the injury will not be career-threatening, and Yamaha is reporting that as a result of the surgery, no functionality will be lost in either Lorenzo’s finger or his hand.

Surgeons in Melbourne were able to save Lorenzo’s nerves and tendons on his left ring finger, though the Yamaha rider’s recovery time is uncertain at this point. Reports coming out of Phillip Island have been conflicting, with some publications stating the finger was severed from the hand, while reporters at the on-track medical center, including Asphalt & Rubber, were briefed that the finger had been split open length-wise along its tip. Yamaha is expected to release a clarifying statement shortly, but the more pressing news is that Lorenzo is certain to miss the Malaysian GP in Sepang next weekend, and is still questionable for the season-closer at Valencia, Spain in early-November.

Having both riders miss the Australian GP, American Ben Spies also sat out Sunday’s race, suffering still from his 167 mph get-off. Spies is expected to race at Malaysia, and carry the factory flag for Yamaha. With Southeast Asia, and Malaysia in particular, an important market for Yamaha, the team is surely relieved that at least one of its riders will be present for the penultimate race of the season.

Source: Yamaha; Photo: MotoGP.com.au