Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Jorge Lorenzo has had a strong start to the season and he led the championship going into the race in Italy.
Jorge Lorenzo has had a strong start to the season and he led the championship going into the race in Italy.

Lorenzo aims high

The MotoGP championship leader admits he is excited by the prospect of winning the title in his second year in the sport, but has played down his chances.

The MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo admitted he is excited by the prospect of winning the title in his second year in the sport, but has played down his chances of achieving the feat. The Spaniard, 22, goes into today's Italian Grand Prix in Mugello with a one-point lead in the title race over teammate Valentino Rossi. And with two wins under his belt so far this season, the rider known as Por Fuera, has been hotly tipped to break up the recent Rossi-Casey Stoner Moto-GP stranglehold.

But Lorenzo said his primary goal is "winning races". He said: "That's the aim, not the championship. I don't obviously know what will happen or if I will be in the same place in the championship in three months time, we will see. It will be difficult and so I think it might not happen. "For me, winning the championship would be the most beautiful feeling you can have. I was born to be a rider, my father made my first bike when I was three years old. I don't know what can be better than this."

Despite being a relative newcomer to the series - this is only Lorenzo's second season in the championship - he is a double world champion at 250cc. And he showed on his debut in Qatar last season that he has the makings of a future MotoGP champion when he took pole for the season opener and ended up second in the race. He finished the year fourth in the championship, which included a victory in Estoril, but his season was more memorable for a string of crashes.

In all, he experienced seven accidents in just three months, resulting in a series of broken bones. He shrugged off the severity of the injuries and said the psychological rather than the physical blow had cost him the chance of more success in 2008. "The most important problem was the confidence, not the injuries," said Lorenzo. "I rode in Le Mans with two broken ankles. All these accidents made my brain think very bad things. And after Catalunya [where he was forced to miss the race after a practice crash] I really thought about stopping. It was hard to continue with so much pain but I got through it and learned a lot doing it."

Lorenzo has come off the bike already this season, crashing in a battle for third place in Jerez with 2007 champion Stoner. "The Jerez race was a disappointment but, when you're racing in your home country, you have to take some risks," he said. "I would still do the same thing next time." Lorenzo is contracted to be the teammate of Rossi, who he described as "incredible" and said it was "a pleasure to be close to him", until the end of the season.

But rumours are circulating in the MotoGP paddock that Lorenzo could join Team Repsol Honda. The rider himself admitted: "I don't know what will happen. I just want to say I'm very happy at Yamaha. I would like to continue with this manufacturer." Despite a wall - set up at Rossi's behest - between the pair in their Yamaha team garage, the pair enjoy a good partnership. The same cannot be said for his relationship with fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, who lies fourth in the championship.

The pair's animosity dates back to their 250cc days and last season they refused to even shake hands on the podium in Qatar. But Lorenzo says that has now changed. He said: "I had a problem in the past but for me all that is just in the past. I don't have problems with him. I can't talk about his feelings but I don't know them. You'll have to ask him." Lorenzo has promised to keep the spats to a minimum this year and instead focus on race wins, starting at Mugello later today.

mmajendie@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National