|By Matt Beer||Saturday, July 23rd 2011, 22:33 GMT|
Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he thought he would be ruled out of the United States Grand Prix when he crashed at the end of free practice at Laguna Seca this morning.
The Yamaha rider had just done a practice start on his way back to the pits when he was launched into a high side crash at Turn 5. The team felt the incident was due to traction control not being enabled – as on the Yamaha the system only comes on after a start once the bike downshifts.
Lorenzo initially struggled to get up after the violent accident, but eventually limped away with just pain in his hip, and was given medical clearance to continue riding for the rest of the weekend. He went on to dominate qualifying and take pole position.
“It was a very ugly crash this morning. When I hit the ground I was full of pain and I was thinking that the race was over for me,” said Lorenzo.
“Fortunately after some minutes the pain was going little by little. But to be in the first position is better than I expected.”
Though Lorenzo was still walking awkwardly after qualifying, he said the discomfort was not affecting his riding.
“On the bike I don’t feel so much pain, so I could go fast from the beginning and then make a very good lap time with the soft tyres. We are very proud of this result,” he said.