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Lorenzo reflects on success and looks ahead to MotoGP

Lorenzo reflects on success and looks ahead to MotoGP

After clinching his second 250cc title in succession on Sunday at Sepang, Fortuna Aprilia's Jorge Lorenzo was back in Spain 24 hours later, for a question and answer session about this year's success and his imminent move into MotoGP with Yamaha for 2008.

After clinching his second 250cc title in succession on Sunday at Sepang, Fortuna Aprilia's Jorge Lorenzo was back in Spain 24 hours later, for a question and answer session about this year's success and his imminent move into MotoGP with Yamaha for 2008.

motogp.com was present at the event in Barcelona to catch up with the 20 year-old 250cc World Champion.

How did you feel as you crossed the line in Malaysia?
As I finished the race pulling a wheelie I thought I might have just missed out on third place! Then I was thinking about everyone I know and my mind was rushing. The adrenaline was still flowing when I got back to the pit-box to see everyone. It doesn't quite sink in at first. What I'd achieved, how good it is for Spain and Spanish sport in general.

What are your immediate plans in Spain now that you've secured the title?
I'll be pretty busy I guess. I've already noticed a few differences this year compared with last season in terms of winning the championship. The other day in Malaysia there were loads of fans at the circuit wanting autographs, which didn't happen so much last year.

How will it feel to leave Aprilia?
Saying goodbye to Aprilia will be sad, because they are great people who have helped me to become the World Champion and a better person in general. They've given me a winning bike and the best time of my life.

From your time in the 250cc class what special memories will you take with you into MotoGP? What are the best moments you've had over the last three years?
I'll remember certain people in particular, some great highs, two titles, the fans who back me so much, and will support me for the rest of my career. There have been some unforgettable times. I'll also take a few plates and screws with me, but fortunately not too many! I've made some great friends in 250 too.

It be will hard to win races in MotoGP, and after winning so many in 250cc how will you react to that?
Well I won't be expecting to win races next year. I'm just going to enjoy it although I know it will be really hard to get into top eight positions. If you think about the riders I'll be up against next year, from Shinya Nakano to Valentino Rossi, all of them have taken podiums and won races. There are five or six World Champions in there, so beating them is going to be a tough task.

Do you think it puts more pressure on you that Casey Stoner has won ten races and the World title in his second year?
I've been fortunate enough to set plenty of records myself, especially when I was younger. The youngest rider to win the Aprilia Cup, the youngest rider ever in the World Championship, one of the youngest to win Grand Prix races, one of the youngest in the 250cc class. But you soon realise that what matters is that the fans love you and that they show you how much they are behind you. Winning is important but without the fans you don't feel anywhere near as good.

I think I've done very well in 250, but obviously the level at MotoGP is higher and I've not been there yet. I need to work hard to make myself a competitive MotoGP rider and we're just getting started.

What are your thoughts on sharing a pit-box with Valentino Rossi?
Well, we've both got our own jobs to do. We'll be fine together.

Do you think there will be a lot of attention specifically focused on the battle between you and Dani Pedrosa? And are you worried about that causing a split amongst Spanish fans?
That would be a good thing in my view. If the fans were split between me and Dani Pedrosa it would be a friendly fight which I think would be good for MotoGP.

What do you need to work on as a rider to be successful in MotoGP?
I need to get to know the bike and how to make the most of being with Yamaha. I need to learn about the tyres and how hard I can push things. I also just need experience and a bit of luck.

Lorenzo also explained that after the press conference he would be heading back to the Majorcan capital Palma, where he would be welcomed at an official reception by the local government.

Tags:
250cc, 2007, POLINI MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Jorge Lorenzo

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