Cursed winter break. This is perhaps what Jorge Lorenzo is thinking right now, having sustained a suspected left scaphoid fracture. Something of a setback for the Majorcan and for the HRC team, both its riders now injured ahead of the three-day test in Malaysia and the team presentation, taking place on 23 January in Madrid.
Marc Marquez continues with his rehabilitation programme following shoulder surgery in December, while Cal Crutchlow does not even know if he will be able to fly to Sepang in early February. At this point, the only fully fit rider in the Honda camp is Takaaki Nakagami, who surprised everyone during the Jerez test by setting the fastest time on the final day.
Lorenzo now adds his name to the list of riders to sustain injury over the winter break. Another man who knows all about this is Dani Pedrosa. Everyone was curious to see the Spaniard debut as KTM test rider at Sepang but #26 will be unable to ride due to a double collarbone fracture.
It's only a short jump from the MotoGP to the Superbike championship... Roughly eleven months ago, Johnny Rea competed at Phillip Island shortly after having had surgery on his ring finger. An injury that no doubt put the Cannibal to the test, the Northern Irish rider nevertheless pushing through and coming close to victory, crossing the line just behind Melandri. Meanwhile, at Losail in 2014, Marc Marquez was able to score the win, following a thrilling head to head with Rossi, despite having suffered a crash on 19 February that had left him with a fractured fibula.
And what about Danilo Petrucci? In the 2016 Phillip Island test, he crashed and traveled home with a fractured right hand. The injury was severe enough that the Italian had to sit out the Qatar test and the first four rounds of the season, only returning at Le Mans.
If we go further back, the long break also got the better of Scott Redding, who fractured his sternum during the Superprestigio in Barcelona. Dirt track and flat track bikes are a great training solution but this sometimes comes at a price. Andrea Dovizioso also knows something about this, having broken his collarbone while riding MX in 2011, just like the late Nicky Hayden. At the end of the day, risk is all part of the job.