Jorge Lorenzo: A ‘relief’ to get to the end of final MotoGP race
Jorge Lorenzo admitted to feeling ‘relief’ as he crossed the line at Valencia to bring the curtain down on his glittering MotoGP career.
The three-time premier series champion-and five across all classes- announced he was to retire from MotoGP in a pre-event press conference on Thursday in Valencia, citing a lack of motivation as his chief reason for stepping away.
Lorenzo has struggled for form during his first and ultimately final year with Honda, and his performance failed to improve in his last as he qualified 16th before racing to a lonely 13th, ending the season with a lowly 28 points.
The Mallorcan revealed that he felt “alot of discomfort” throughout his final contest, and that he simply “tried to finish” after being unable to match the pace he had been able to reach across Friday and Saturday running.
“Now I can breathe and be relaxed,” said Lorenzo.
“It’s a relief to finish my career without any crashes in the last race, it was a difficult race because I didn’t feel good on the bike.
“I felt a lot of discomfort, the medium front and rear (tyre) didn’t give me confidence so I couldn’t match my pace across the rest of the weekend.
“So when I understood I couldn’t be faster I just tried to finish.”
Lorenzo conceded that although he was looking to enjoy his time away from the paddock, he may consider a potential test programme in a similar vein to Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner’s retirement activities with KTM and Ducati respectively.
“There are a lot of things to do in life, I’m open to any possibilities. I like to ride, and it could be a possibility (test role).”
“There are three options to replace me”
Lorenzo also weighed in on who he thought would take over his seat at the factory Honda squad, with team-mate Marc Marquez’s Moto2 title-winning brother Alex now looking favourite to secure the berth.
Honda-contracted rider Cal Crutchlow-as well as Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR stand-in Johann Zarco- are also well and truly in the frame to secure the seat, but their chances have taken a significant hit over the last few days as rumours of a Marquez duo gather momentum.
“It’s a difficult task for Alberto (Puig) because he has three options of a similar level and speed,” said Lorenzo.
“Obviously Cal (Crutchlow) has more experience but Johann (Zarco) is not doing a bad job in the races, and Alex (Marquez) is a two-time world champion in Moto3 and Moto2.
“He’s very young and the brother of Marc (Marquez), and he’s Spanish also so it’s interesting for (Honda title sponsor) Repsol, so we’ll have to see what Alberto decides.”