Lorenzo bows out in style

Jorge bows out at Yamaha with dom­i­nant win

Motorcycle News (UK) - - In This Week's Issue - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN SPAIN MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@motorcyclenews.com

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

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