[QODLink]
2013

Lorenzo set for title challenge

Languishing behind leader Marc Marquez, defending MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo says he is ready to 'fight for victory'.

Last Modified: 13 Sep 2013 10:04
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Lorenzo triumphed at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone two weeks ago, holding off leader Marquez [AFP]

Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo said he was back to full health going into this weekend's San Marino MotoGP, as the Spaniard prepares himself for another run at the title.

Lorenzo, who suffered a broken collarbone at Assen in June, twice underwent surgery following his initial heavy crash in the Netherlands and a subsequent accident in Germany two weeks later.

However, the two-time world champion said his injuries had finally healed and that he was back in proper physical shape.

"I feel strong again like I was at Montmelo and Mugello before the crash," said Lorenzo, referring to consecutive wins in Italy and Catalonia before his fall in the Netherlands.

"Misano is a track I enjoy a lot and also the Yamaha is comfortable there.

My next goal is to fight for the victory once more and think race by race, improving our pace step by step

Jorge Lorenzo,

"My next goal is to fight for the victory once more and think race by race, improving our pace step by step," added the Spaniard, who has won the last two races at Misano.

Points chase

Lorenzo halted leader Marc Marquez's four-race winning streak when he triumphed at Silverstone a fortnight ago, but he is still 39 points adrift of his rookie compatriot in the riders' standings with six races remaining.

Having seen title rivals Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both struck down by injuries this season, Marquez himself dislocated his shoulder at Silverstone but the 20-year-old was confident it would not hamper him at Misano.

"I'm already feeling much better since my accident in Silverstone, so hopefully I'll be almost 100 per cent by this weekend," said Marquez, who finished a commendable second in Britain despite the setback.

"I will arrive in Italy for the race weekend a little later than usual as I will use the time to have more physiotherapy on my shoulder," added Marquez, who has finished on the podium at every race bar June's Italian MotoGP, where he crashed out while running in second.

Meanwhile Pedrosa, who is second overall and trails Honda teammate Marquez by 30 points, is eager to cut the gap at the top after finishing a frustrating third at the British MotoGP.

"I was slightly disappointed after Silverstone, as we knew we had the speed and race pace to challenge for victory," said Pedrosa.

"Anyway, we must learn from the mistakes and move on. Misano is quite a tricky track and the grip level is always a challenge, but I enjoy riding there.

"I've had good results in the past, even if last year we experienced a nightmare on race day. This year we arrive confident and looking to reduce the points to Marc in the championship."

Welcome return

Seven-time champion Valentino Rossi's return to his home circuit will be greeted with the usual fanfare, as the Italian seeks to go one better than last year's runner-up finish at the World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, renamed in honour of Rossi's close friend who died following a crash at the 2011 Malaysian MotoGP.

"Misano is next and it is my home Grand Prix and an important weekend. I like the track, I always go fast there, especially with the Yamaha and last year also I was able to do a very good race."

A winner at Misano in 2008 and 2009, Rossi is fourth overall in this year's standings, 38 points in arrears of third-placed Lorenzo.

"In the past I was always on the podium with Yamaha. We will arrive very strong and we will try to do our best," said the Italian

654

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Error processing SSI file
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.