Lorenzo bows out in style
Jorge bows out at Yamaha with dominant win
Jorge Lorenzo signed off an incredible nine seasons with the factory Yamaha squad by taking a stunning race victory in Valencia, having led the race from start to finish to claim the most dominant win of a unique season.
Setting up the weekend’s results by dominating not only Sunday’s race but the entire weekend, he walked away with a gentleman’s set of pole position, fastest lap and race win. He admitted after he crossed the finish line that the realisation that he was leaving his home of almost a decade hadn’t yet begun to sink in.
“It was an incredible weekend with a perfect first few laps, the pole position, the fastest lap, and the victory. I arrived here in Motogp at 20 years old, taking my first pole position on my first race – and after almost ten years I leave with a pole position and a victory, I think I couldn’t have given Yamaha a better present than this for their support and their hard work during these years.
“During the race you spend 45 minutes completely focused on what you are doing to dominate this bike, so when you cross the line you aren’t very emotional and you don’t think too much, because you need to recover.
“After two or three minutes I started remembering the best moments in my career and also the hard moments, and in parc fermé it was very emotional with my team. We have to enjoy all of these experiences and especially this last moment with Yamaha.”
But, despite the dominant win, he was quick to point out after the race that it hadn’t come to him as easily as he’d made it look. Struggling to maintain the pace in the final stages of the race, he admitted afterwards that problems for Marc Marquez were all that prevented him from finishing his time with Yamaha in second rather than first.
“I struggled a lot in the last 10 laps. The maximum gap was five seconds - and then it reduced to 4.5 and then suddenly I saw Marc in second place and knew he was going to try everything and be very, very quick. We knew he would have a better tyre at the end of the race, and I was struggling very much with the left hand side of the rear in the middle of the race.
“I had to be very focused and precise not to lose the rear. I was lucky Marc had so many problems at the beginning as he recovered very well.”
And with such a controlling performance coming in his final race for Yamaha, Lorenzo could well be forgiven for doubting the decision that will turn his entire career upside down in only a few days’ time.
But despite the magnitude of the move ahead of him, he says he can’t wait to get started with Ducati.
“I have never regretted the decision. I’m leaving a great team, a championship-winning team, but hopefully my next team will also be like that. It is a great team and hopefully we can make it a championship-winning team too!”
‘I’m leaving a great team, but hopefully my next team will also be like that’ JORGE LORENZO