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Lorenzo looking forward to big challenge

Lorenzo looking forward to big challenge

Few would have predicted such an electric start to his MotoGP career for Fiat Yamaha´s Jorge Lorenzo and this weekend´s trip to Estoril promises to provide another intriguing challenge for the youngest rider in the premier class.

Few would have predicted such an electric start to his MotoGP career for Fiat Yamaha´s Jorge Lorenzo and this weekend´s trip to Estoril promises to provide another intriguing challenge for the youngest rider in the premier class.

The double 250cc World Champion, who turns 21 next month, already has two MotoGP pole positions and two podium finishes to his name going into round three of his rookie campaign. The bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal will therefore see Lorenzo fighting hard to maintain, or indeed improve upon, his current second position in the general standings, at the notoriously difficult circuit close to the Atlantic coast.

Estoril is one of only four circuits on the current calendar where Lorenzo has previously raced that he has not achieved a victory in any Grand Prix class and it is also one of only two current circuits he has visited without qualifying on pole. Furthermore, unlike at Losail and Jerez, he will go into the weekend with no 800cc test experience of the track.

The Spaniard´s team-mate Valentino Rossi, by contrast, is the most successful rider in World Championship history at the Portuguese venue, having finished on the podium on each of his eight MotoGP visits to the circuit, including five race victories.

If the Michelin-equipped Lorenzo can stay close to his Bridgestone-supplied colleague and join him on the rostrum as he did in Jerez less than a fortnight ago there will be smiles all round in the partitioned factory Yamaha pit-box.

`At Estoril last year I was third and very close to my second championship, so it was an exciting time for me,´ commented Lorenzo. `That said it´s always a very important for Spanish riders because Portugal is our neighbour and many Spanish fans come to the race. It´s actually not one of my best tracks though. I´ve never been better than third.´

`The weather is quite unpredictable and the track is tricky with some very heavy braking zones but I know that Yamaha seems to go well there so I hope this will continue with me,´ Lorenzo added. `It´s the first track I´ve raced at this year where I haven´t tested, so it´s going to be a new challenge and I will need to adapt on Friday with my team and go step by step from there.´

Lorenzo´s Fiat Yamaha team manager Daniele Romagnoli noted, `Of course this is Jorge´s first time at Estoril with the YZR-M1 but we don´t anticipate this to be a problem because he knows the track so well and his adaptation to the 800cc bike has been excellent.´

`Estoril isn´t one of Jorge´s favourite circuits so our focus is on finding a setting as quickly as possible so that he can feel comfortable with the M1 and continue the form he has shown in the first two races.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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