Jorge Lorenzo has been deemed unfit to compete in the Australian GP, after injuring his finger during the Warm-Up session at Phillip Island. Encounter a major headshake, Lorenzo hit the ground hard as his Yamaha YZR-M1 rounded the corner onto the front straight. Grasping his left hand afterwards, it has become apparent that Lorenzo has injured his ring finger in the crash.
Early reports state Lorenzo severed the tip of his finger, while reporters outside the Phillip Island Medical Center were briefed that the tip of his finger had been lacerated and split open. Regardless of the extent of Lorenzo’s unfortunate injury, the impact for this weekend is that the still reigning-World Champion will not compete in the Australian GP this week, effectively handing Casey Stoner the 2011 MotoGP Championship if the Australian can finish 6th or better in this afternoon’s race.
Asphalt & Rubber was briefed that Lorenzo’s injury, while extremely painful, is not being considered a “career-ending” event. The Spanish rider will require his finger to be sewn up, and will likely lose the fingernail in the process. Medically ruled-out from today’s race, it’s not clear what this means for the rest of Lorenzo’s season, especially as MotoGP heads to Malaysia next weekend – a location with significant importance both to Lorenzo and Yamaha Racing.
Lorenzo’s absence from the Australian GP means that Casey Stoner needs only to score 10 points (finish 6th) in order to clinch the 2011 MotoGP Championship. Stoner has won the last four Australian GP races, and has been on the top of the time sheets all week. The Australian’s worse finish this season was a DNF at Jerez, where…, otherwise Stoner has been on the podium at every other race. With a touch of irony, today’s race is also taking place on Stoner’s 26th birthday.