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Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy to replace injured MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo

Thu 19 November 2015

Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy to replace injured MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo

Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy to replace injured MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo
       
  • Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy will be a wildcard entry in tomorrow's ROC Nations Cup after MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was forced to pull out due to injury
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  • Lorenzo suffered second degree burns as he celebrated this year's championship in Mallorca and he has now sadly been forced to withdraw from this weekend's racing
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  • He will be replaced in tomorrow's ROC Nations Cup by fellow two-wheeled specialist Hoy – who has made a successful switch to motor racing this year, winning the LMP3 class of the European Le Mans Series
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  • Lorenzo's place in Saturday's individual Race Of Champions will go to the winner of the ROC Factor shootout between Bradley Philpot and Des Foley
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  • They will race greats from F1, Le Mans, IndyCar and Touring Cars in identical machinery on ROC's all-new Olympic cycling-style pursuit track
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  • Tickets are still available from www.raceofchampions.com for the action on Friday and Saturday in London's former Olympic Stadium but get in quick!

Six-time Olympic cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy will have the chance to show off his skills on four wheels tomorrow evening after he was drafted in to replace Jorge Lorenzo in the ROC Nations Cup at London's former Olympic Stadium.

Lorenzo suffered second degree burns to his leg as he celebrated winning his third MotoGP World Championship in front of his home fans in Mallorca last week. Sadly the injury means he has now been forced to withdraw from this weekend's Race Of Champions.

Lorenzo said: "I'm really sad that I cannot go to the Race Of Champions this year but during the celebrations in Mallorca I burned my leg on the bike. I really hoped it would heal by now but due to potential complications from sweating inside the overalls, the doctors have forbidden me to do it. I know I would have had great fans supporting me in London so I'm sorry to be missing it. This is a great event and I hope you all enjoy watching all the action. Now I will try as hard as possible to be back at the Race Of Champions next year instead."

Click here to see a video of Jorge Lorenzo addressing the London fans ahead of this weekend's Race Of Champions.

Race Of Champions at London's former Olympic Stadium

Lorenzo had been scheduled to partner French F1 ace Romain Grosjean for Team All Stars on Friday. But now that honour will go to his fellow two-wheeled specialist Hoy, who is already an accomplished racing driver himself, having partnered Charlie Robertson to glory in the LMP3 class of this year's European Le Mans Series.

Hoy is currently aiming to compete in next year's Le Mans 24 Hours. But first he will get an early chance to see how he is progressing as he takes to the track against this field of driving legends on Friday – in the very stadium where he carried the flag for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony of London 2012. The pressure will be on him from the very start as his first race will be against next year's Lotus F1 Team recruit Jolyon Palmer and the Scotsman is under no illusions…

Hoy said: "I'm really excited to get this late call-up. I don't expect to be as fast as the real professionals but I'll do my very best. Of course I'm sorry to hear about Jorge's injury too but this is a wonderful opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it. Now I'll try to put on a show for the fans in the stadium in London tomorrow."

Lorenzo's place in the draw for Saturday's individual Race Of Champions will instead be taken by the winner of the ROC Factor. This competition has been run over social media in the build-up to this year's event, asking fans to vote for their two favourite amateur drivers from a total of ten finalists. The two who polled the most votes were Bradley Philpot and Des Foley, who will now have a shootout during Thursday practice to see who can join the greats on the track on Saturday.

The winner of the shootout will also join Hoy in the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer on Friday evening – on a course which has been specially designed to test a range of driving skills including chicanes, slaloms, 360° turns and parallel parking. They will be joined in the chase for ROC glory by other big names from sport and elsewhere.

Race Of Champions at London's former Olympic Stadium

The Race Of Champions is an annual end-of-season contest which has been running for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's major disciplines – including Formula 1, Le Mans, Rallycross, Touring Cars and IndyCar – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

The event is run over two days: first comes the ROC Nations Cup (on the evening of Friday November 20) when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of 'World's Fastest Nation'. Then on the afternoon of Saturday November 21 it's time for the Race Of Champions itself, when teamwork goes out of the window and it's a flat-out battle for individual glory as 'Champion of Champions'.

Tickets for ROC 2015 in London are still available via www.raceofchampions.com. For access to rights-free high-resolution imagery and to keep up with all the latest news ahead of this year's event please visit www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook plus @raceofchampions and #ROCLondon on Twitter.

Driver line-up for the 2015 Race Of Champions:

       
  • Sebastian VETTEL, four-time Formula 1 World Champion (Team Germany)
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  • Nico HÜLKENBERG, 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours winner (Team Germany)
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  • Tom KRISTENSEN, nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner (Team Nordic)
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  • Petter SOLBERG, reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion (Team Nordic)
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  • Daniel RICCIARDO, three-time Formula 1 grand prix winner (Team Australia)
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  • Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion (Team Australia)
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  • Felipe MASSA, 11-time Formula 1 grand prix winner (Team Brazil)
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  • Nelson PIQUET Jr, reigning FIA Formula E Champion (Team Brazil)
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  • David COULTHARD, reigning ROC Champion of Champions (Team Scotland)
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  • Susie WOLFF, Williams Martini Racing Official Test Driver (Team Scotland)
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  • Chris HOY, six-time Olympic gold medallist in cycling (Team All Stars)
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  • Romain GROSJEAN, 2012 ROC Champion of Champions (Team All Stars)
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  • Jolyon PALMER, 2014 GP2 Champion (Team Young Stars)
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  • Pascal WEHRLEIN, 2015 DTM Champion (Team Young Stars)
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  • Ryan HUNTER-REAY, 2014 Indianapolis 500 Winner (Team Americas)
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  • José Maria LÓPEZ, double World Touring Car Champion (Team Americas)
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  • Jason PLATO, double British Touring Car Champion (Team England 1)
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  • Andy PRIAULX, triple World Touring Car Champion (Team England 1)
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  • Alex BUNCOMBE, 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series Champion (Team England 2)
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  • Jenson BUTTON, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion (Team England 2)

 

Full line-up for the ROC Celebrity Skills Challenge presented by TAG Heuer:

       
  • Chris HOY, six-time Olympic gold medallist in cycling
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  • Ben AINSLIE, four-time Olympic gold medallist in sailing
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  • Mike TINDALL, 2003 Rugby World Cup winner for England
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  • Ella EYRE, MOBO award-winning singer/songwriter
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  • Joey ESSEX, British television personality
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  • Jon-Allan BUTTERWORTH, multiple medal-winning Paralympic cyclist
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  • Joko WINTERSCHEIDT, German television personality
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  • Katarina JOHNSON-THOMPSON, Olympic heptathlete for Team GB
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  • Denise LEWIS, Olympic gold medallist in heptathlon
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  • Greg RUTHERFORD, Olympic gold medallist in long jump

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