Laguna Seca: Pedrosa Present (Probably), Lorenzo Absent (Probably). For The Moment, At Least

Two days, two big highsides, and two championship contenders down and out. Friday and Saturday at the Sachsenring saw both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa have massive crashes, and forced to withdraw from the race in Germany. Jorge Lorenzo bent the titanium plate holding together the collarbone which he broke at Assen, while Dani Pedrosa suffered an incomplete fracture of his collarbone, and had problems with blood pressure and dizziness.

Though both Pedrosa and Lorenzo were ruled out of the Sachsenring race, there was much speculation about whether either of the two would be racing at Laguna Seca next weekend. Jorge Lorenzo had already ruled himself out of the race, posting a statement on his Twitter feed that he would be waiting until Indianapolis to return, in order to be fully fit and healthy.

Today, the official Honda MotoGP team Twitter feed posted an update suggesting that Dani Pedrosa intends to race at Laguna Seca next weekend. The tweet reads in full: "Dani is feeling better and at the moment the plan is to be in Laguna! Thank you for all your kind messages." Whether he can race in Laguna Seca will depend on his fitness, but also on being allowed to fly, as suffering sudden drops in blood pressure has been cause for some airlines to deny passengers the right to board.

But Pedrosa's intention to fly to the US and take part in the race will put pressure on Lorenzo to change his mind. Though the sensible course of action is to stay at home, any points scored by Pedrosa in the US will make Lorenzo's title defence much more difficult. In the post-race press conference, Valentino Rossi was convinced Lorenzo would not sit out the Red Bull US GP. "This is just my idea, but Jorge will race in Laguna," Rossi said. "It's just my feeling, I know nothing. At the beginning for sure Jorge is very scared and frustrated. But I know what happens in the mind, and after some days, you feel not so bad, and you say, 'why not'?" Whether Rossi is right or not will become clear in the next few days.

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So Cal Crutchlow is so awesome. He can ride that Yamaha M1 as fast as and in the same way as Jorge Lorenzo. He's the best thing that could have manifested for Yamaha.

I am a big fan of Jorge. One day, I met him before the race. I said, "Good luck!" He made the effort to look me in the eye and say, "Thank you." Most sincerely.

But this Cal Crutchlow situation is somewhat perplexing.

I'm sure there are folks out there that figure there was a decline in the level of the DNA that was being hauled around the track since Stoner's departure. And I am sure that there are also a lot of people who watch and see that this is currently more of a Spanish National Championship than a well rounded representational snap-shot of the world. There were discussions of homosexuality previously, but what about the lack of racial equality?

"We are all Trayvon!" -sorry, had to get that out of the way (being american and all)...

I hate to beat around the bush, but the best thing that could've possibly happened to generate more competitiveness in this championship just happened. I hope both men heal quickly, but slowly enough to allow Rossi and Cal back into the championship points hunt.

How does losing two incredibly talented riders make the championship more competitive? (watching Lorenzo for me was only ever exceeded by watching Stoner race Lorenzo.. ecstasy!) BUT:

More bikes capable of winning the championship would?

More sponsorship from non-spanish companies would? and

Changing the rules to be less 'Southern Europe centric' may help (however America is getting 3 rounds now - what else can they do)?

I dont follow the gist of your argument. How does homosexuality and race have any impact on this? We could say that there are no riders from Congo racing or lesbians? Am I missing something? But you have a clear right to your opinion so...

The most likely replacement of Rossi in the Works team will be Cal...

I didn't think it was possible and never consider rookies a serious threat for the title. History proves out in this theory. However, the stars are aligning and it looks quite possible. Though Marc has never raced Laguna and she does bite. At the very least he'll walk away with 16pts.

With the old aliens, the podium was decided 4-5 laps into the race. With all of them out except Rossi it does become very interesting .

As I remember it, Biaggi almost won his rookie season in 1998 if it hadn't been for some yellow flag controversy at Catalunya.

Outside MotoGP, Ben Spies won WSB in his rookie season and Lewis Hamilton almost won his rookie season in F1.

As a massive Pedrosa fan, I saw the crash at the weekend, and frankly, my heart sank. "oh no, not AGAIN" I thought. 3 days on, and I'm still not so sure that Dani racing in Laguna would be such a good idea. Yes, of course he needs to put points on the board. This is his best shot at a title. But given his injury woes from a couple of years ago. I'm thinking maybe sit tight for this one. Still, at then end of the day, the only person that truly knows if Dani Pedrosa is fit enough to race is Dani Pedrosa.

Hope both him and Jorge get well soon.

I sometimes think that as these guys are so brave (i.e. their perception of risk and ambition is different from a mere mortals), that the medical 'bar' for racing should be set high. Racers will race with the most ridiculous injuries (getting on the bikes with broken legs for example, or ankles) that they need to be saved from themselves.

It's a risky enough business as it is without them compounding unhealed injuries (such as Jorge has just done). It would be the same rule for all so nobody can claim it's unfair. Apart from anything else they could endanger other riders.

So I hope the medics are tough at Laguna Seca before anyone rides, and of course that these two great players are back soon and fit.

The biggest test of MM's talent and guts yet will come at Laguna Seca, where he has never raced before.

IMO, Rossi will be eyeing Laguna as a definite can-win circuit. We know how fast he is there. While Cal has struggled there in the past.

However, I have a feeling that Marquez is looking a lot at Stoner's previous data and Stoner was the fastest rider at Laguna. While it's a bumpy, dusty and technical track that requires a lot of experience as well as data knowledge and talent, Stoner won the race in 2007 on his second trip to the track. So I wouldn't count out Marquez, especially if Lorenzo and Pedrosa are not 100 percent. Plus, he now must be seriously fancying himself as a title contender.

But I reckon Rossi will have this one if he gets his set-up right. He had a bad set up in Germany, and he can't ride a bike with a bad set-up as we've seen over the past three years. But with a good set-up, he's tough/impposible to beat.