MotoGP points leader Jorge Lorenzo says his Yamaha teammate, and title rival, Valentino Rossi's leg-breaking practice crash at Mugello this morning is a blow to the series.
Lorenzo, who came to Mugello nine points ahead of seven-time champion Rossi, wished the Italian a swift recovery but admitted the landscape of the title battle had changed.
"Unfortunately, the championship has lost a big star," said Lorenzo, who will start second at Mugello on Sunday. "Without Valentino the races are less fun, and we hope he recovers as soon as possible, but we have to think about ourselves. We have a different story in the championship now. We must focus a lot, and stay concentrated."
Lorenzo, who has suffered his own injury issues in recent years, knows he now has his best-ever chance to win the title.
"I'm sad for Vale because I know how you feel when you are injured; it's not a great feeling," he added. "For sure, he'll be feeling very bad now. Now we have a great opportunity to open a big gap to the others."
The Spaniard currently leads the championship by nine points over Rossi, with third-placed Andrea Dovizioso 28 points adrift of Lorenzo.