Buriram - Jorge
Lorenzo was on Thursday declared fit to race in Thailand's inaugural
MotoGP after suffering a foot injury, despite the Ducati driver still
feeling the effects of a crash in Aragon last month.
The 31-year-old Spaniard dislocated his toe at Turn One of the Aragon
Grand Prix, a crash which undid his hard work to seal pole position.
He blamed compatriot and world champion Marc Marquez, who went on to
win the race and inch closer to his fifth MotoGP world title.
Marquez is 72 points ahead of second-place rider Andrea Dovizioso, while Lorenzo is in fourth.
In a tweet Thursday MotoGP said Lorenzo was "declared fit" for the
weekend's racing at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.
But Lorenzo, a three-time championship winner, was still using crutches on Thursday to keep the pressure off his damaged foot.
"I am positive... Hopefully I will jump into ride tomorrow and I will
have enough power," he told reporters of his chances of competing in
Thailand, a day before the start of practice sessions.
Marquez called his compatriot on Monday to discuss his condition but
was coy on what was said between the pair, who will be stablemates next
year at Repsol Honda.
"I speak with him (only)," Marquez told reporters.
Thailand is hosting the MotoGP for the first time, a big win for a country with hopes of one day luring the Formula One.
Preparations were in full swing Thursday, as the sleepy town of
Buriram in northeastern Thailand revs up for its biggest sporting event.
Rows of tents also lined the outside of the track in fields to
provide extra lodging for the more than 100,000 people expected to
descend on the town for Sunday's race.
Fans making the five-hour drive up from Bangkok passed by rice
paddies and grazing water buffaloes, a landscape common to Thailand's
The event will take on a local twist with a special exhibition of Muay Thai, the country's traditional martial art.
Riders have not been on the track since February, and some have said
the weather is a cause for concern at the tail-end of Thailand's rainy
season, which leaves open the possibility of slick and humid conditions.
"It's very, very hot, and it can rain every day," Yamaha's Valentino Rossi said. "We hope first of all for a dry race."
With the exception of a brief downfall on Thursday afternoon, the weather was clear and slightly cloudy.