Lorenzo’s re­ally rather good, but he’s not great

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment - Gareth Ash­man, 01733-468118

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!

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