Jorge Lorenzo celebrates 18th birthday

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Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Jorge Lorenzo celebrates 18th birthday

Jorge Lorenzo, one of the rookies in this year's 250 World Championship, celebrates today his 18th birthday. Despite his young age, the Fortuna Honda rider is already a seasoned rider, now in this fourth season at World Championship level.

Lorenzo made his debut in 2002 at Jerez, after missing the two first round of the season and the first day of practice of Spanish Grand Prix, waiting to turn 15 to enter the World Championship. In his first race on the Andalusian track, he took 22nd.

In his first season, he went on adapting to the category and to the class, but he scored his first GP win the next year at Rio and added a third place clinched at Sepang to his tally.

In 2004, he emerged as a serious title contender and scored three wins, in Holland, Czech Republic and Qatar and four other podium finishes. He eventually took fourth overall in what was in third and last year at Derbi.

This year, Lorenzo moved up to the 250cc class with the Fortuna Honda team. A natural fighter, he reckoned that he still has a lot of work to do after taking sixth on his debut in the quarter litre class at Jerez. Last weekend in Shanghai, he qualified for the first time on the front row, but a mistake in the early stages of the race and the rain ruined his hopes of a good result.

"I practiced my starts and it had been going well, but today I messed up. It was terrible and I wasn't able to climb up the field. I am not very confident on a wet track, I was getting better with each lap, but not much. I had big hopes of getting a very good result if the track had been dry, but riding in the wet is another story," explained Lorenzo, who eventually took ninth.

For sure, he will be eager to celebrate his 18th birthday in style next week at Le Mans.

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