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GP Week : Issue 118
WORLD Champion Jorge Lorenzo has threatened to quit bike racing, “if nothing is done about dirty riders.” The Spaniard’s comments came in an escalating row after race director Paul Butler’s comments in an earlier interview that “MotoGP is a contact sport”. The controversy was stoked up by Spanish media, who got an angry response from Lorenzo. The Yamaha rider was already leading calls for disciplinary action, targeting Simoncelli as the major culprit. As reported last week, Butler justified his comments by explaining that contact was sometimes unavoidable, but that race direction was responsible for deciding whether it was dangerous. Lorenzo’s own riding had come under scrutiny after possible contact with Dovizioso in the early laps, although no crash had resulted. But Lorenzo enlarged on his remarks, as reported in Britain’s Motor Cycle News. “MotoGP is not a contact sport. Boxing or martial arts are contact sports in which the one who inflicts the most punishment is the winner. In MotoGP, the winner is the most intelligent, the fastest and the one who has set his bike up better. “If MotoGP is going to become a contact sport and nothing is done about dirty riders, then I will retire.” Lorenzo quit threat in ‘contact sport’ row DANI Pedrosa is deferring the decision about whether to race next weekend until the last minute, as doctors monitor the day-by-day progress of his latest collar-bone injury. The Repsol-Honda rider chose quick-fix surgery over natural healing, with a titanium plate fitted to the clean fracture in his right collarbone, sustained in his controversial collision with Marco Simoncelli at the French GP. Even with this remedy, however, his chances of taking part in his home race remain in the balance. Writing in his official blog, Dani told how he planned to follow medical advice “to the letter”, including a week of bed rest after the surgery, three days after the crash. “ The priority now is to recover as much as possible and get back in good shape to ride the bike. At Barcelona if possible, but there are limits,” he said. “For now, the deadlines are marked as the days go by.” He started working with physiotherapists last Wednesday, and was awaiting “the daily evolution” of the injury before making a decision. Even if he does return, his championship campaign is in tatters, ruined yet again by injury for a fourth successive season. The fracture-prone former 125 and 250 champion started 2008 injured after crashing at Sepang tests and breaking bones in his right hand; later that year he was leading on points when he crashed at the Sachsenring, suffering left hand and wrist fractures. In 2009 another pre-season crash left him with a broken left arm – an injury he exacerbated in a cycling crash. In 2010 he was closing the points gap on leader Lorenzo when he crashed at Motegi after his throttle jammed open. His left collar-bone was badly broken. He had only just got over lingering complications from that injury when he broke his right collar-bone at Le Mans two weeks ago, while lying a close second overall to Lorenzo. Day by day for Dani 14