Injured Lorenzo thrilled with fourth
|By Toby Moody||Sunday, May 4th 2008, 11:08 GMT|
Jorge Lorenzo said his fourth place at Shanghai felt like a victory after he had fractured bones in both his ankles in a massive practice crash just 48 hours earlier.
There had been doubts over the rookie Spaniard's participation in the race following the accident, which happened early in Friday practice, but despite having to be assisted on and off the bike by his team, Lorenzo was able to qualify on row two and complete the race.
The Yamaha rider fell to the foot of the top ten early on while trying to judge his speed on a track that had been washed clean of rubber build-up by early morning rain, but once the fuel load lightened he was able to increase his pace and charge back to fourth.
"It was almost a victory," said Lorenzo from a wheelchair after the race. "With the pain after the crash I feel horrible and I thought we could not race so for sure to qualify and then race doing the most overtaking in my life is a good experience."
The Spaniard, who also celebrated his 21st birthday today, added that the result was "a good present."
Lorenzo stalled his Yamaha at the start of the warm-up lap and had to leap off the bike, attempting to bump start it while running alongside it, before being assisted at the last moment by a marshal.
"With the warmth of your body and the strength of the boots, in that situation you have to do it," he said. "It was a little bit of a scare, as normally the four stroke bikes are difficult to start, but this time we were lucky and we got fourth."
After the Estoril race Lorenzo had undergone an arm operation to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome - a medical consideration almost forgotten in the wake of his practice crash. He said the after-effects of the surgery had not posed a problem in China.
"My arm was very good after the work of Doctor Mir," Lorenzo said. "It proved a good decision to make this operation (after Portugal)."