LCR Honda MotoGP rider Taka Nakagami is fighting through the pain barrier as he starred with a stunning qualifying display whilst struggling to put any weight on his injured left ankle at the Sachsenring.
Feeling the effects of being collected in Valentino Rossi’s Assen crash six days ago, the Japanese rider hasn’t be able to walk without the aid of crutches in the garage.
With Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso sat in the provisional Q2 spots at the end of Q1, Nakagami produced a stunning late lap to knock the factory Ducati man out and earn a spot in the top twelve himself. Backing that up with a qualifying performance of tenth, ahead of Rossi and Danilo Petrucci, Nakagami gave it his all through qualifying.
“During FP3 I felt really bad, the pain is incredible and the situation was getting worse,” said the Honda man.
“Before FP4, we had an injection to reduce the pain but it didn’t help. The flexibility is okay, but the biggest problem is I cannot force on the ground and on the foot peg, because if I even put it on the peg the pain is so sharp.
“Maybe I cannot finish the race. After ten laps, I can’t hold onto the bike. The pain is incredible, and the feeling is like every corner I break the bone.”
Whilst not sure if he will be able to finish the race, Nakagami was pleased with his speed in qualifying, in particular in the second half of the lap.
“I’m really fast, especially in sectors three and four, “ he said. “But I am losing a lot in sector one. I checked the data from yesterday with Cal and Marc and I saw it’s clearly different, but I don’t know how they did it.
“I think I lose a lot on the exit of turn one and also through turn two. I tried many things but I can only improve by one tenth. So tonight there will be some homework.”