Lorenzo’s championship hopes fade with first-lap crash

Jorge Lorenzo‘s weekend came to an early end after he crashed out on the first corner of today’s Australian Grand Prix.

After struggling all weekend with food poisoning the Spaniard lined up forth place on the grid, heading into the first corner Lorenzo misread the situation, running into the back of Ducati rider Nicky Hayden, he tried to hold the bike upright but went down hard as he hit the gravel trap, forcing him out of the race.

“I’m a little bit sad for this crash, not for the championship but for my mistake; I didn’t expect this kind of mistake from myself. It was totally my fault, I miscalculated the distance off the line and Nicky braked earlier than I was expecting and I hit him. I thought I could save it but my front brake was broken and so when I tried to brake for the corner I couldn’t and the rear made a big slide.” said Lorenzo.

Thankfully for the Fiat Yamaha rider he avoided serious injury, for which he was thankful, “I have a bit of damage to my nose and my finger but it could have been a lot worse. This is what happens in racing and, although I am disappointed about the race, the most important thing is that I am not badly injured.”

Lorenzo was sorry for Hayden and went on to say that despite effectively ending his championship hopes for this season he is looking forward to the two final races “I want to say sorry to Nicky because I ruined his race today. As for the points, the title was a long shot anyway and now I just want to look forward to the final two races.”

Daniele Romagnoli, Lorenzo’s team manager gave his thoughts on the weekend, “For sure we weren’t expecting a result like this, even after such a difficult weekend! We have found a lot more problems here than we were expecting but in the end the team were able to make a good step for warm-up and another improvement for the race, so we missed a chance to fight for the podium today.”

“It just wasn’t to be this weekend. The championship is basically finished for us now but we will look forward to the last two races and continue as we were before. At the end of the day, we’re lucky that Jorge didn’t pick up worse injuries in a crash like this so we will count ourselves lucky and move on to Malaysia.”

Team-mate Rossi pushed hard throughout the race but couldn’t pass Casey Stoner despite staying with him for the distance.