Lorenzo’s really rather good, but he’s not great
Jorge Lorenzo is an incredibly talented motorcycle racer but he can’t be described as a ‘great’... yet.
Arch-rival and current team-mate Valentino Rossi is often referred to as the GOAT (Greatest of all Time) and there’s few (surely?) who would argue that nine world titles across three classes and 21 years of GP racing don’t justify legendary status. Add in the fact he’s finished on the podium more than 210 times from 333 GP race starts and has won titles with three different manufacturers and the Italian’s place in bike racing history is assured.
Lorenzo has some work to do. Thing is, he might well do it. Despite Rossi’s jibe about his incredibly talented team-mate lacking ‘ the balls’ to move to Ducati, it seems that’s exactly what the supersmooth Spaniard has in mind. You can’t really question Lorenzo’s bravery or commitment. In 2013 he raced at Assen 36 hours after smashing his collarbone and finished fifth to keep his title fight on track. Images of his pain-racked face as he removed his leathers after the tortuous race confirmed just how much he wanted the world title. In the end, he only missed out on the title by four points to Marc Marquez. Lorenzo has balls and brains too, but he has ‘only’ won three Motogp titles and all with Yamaha in a nineyear partnership. If his expected move to Ducati is confirmed at Jerez in two weeks time he will definitely have taken a bold step towards hero status. Of course, he’s got to actually win races and titles, but with the team and bike looking the real deal at the moment, he must believe he can succeed where Rossi failed and that’s probably driving him more than the reported £8million a year deal that the Italian firm has put on the table. And while Rossi’s loud announcement of a new twoyear Yamaha deal may have irked him (as does the threeline whip that forces him to share data), imagine just how smug he’d look if he went to Ducati and spent the next two years beating the GOAT. Maybe such a bold move will even silence the boo brigade. Let’s hope so!