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Lorenzo: `No pressure for title win in 2009´

Lorenzo: `No pressure for title win in 2009´

2008 Rookie of the Year claims no onus on him to take the MotoGP World Championship in his second year.

He played down his title chances in 2008 before a stunning start to his rookie season in MotoGP and, despite establishing himself as one of the top riders in the premier class, Jorge Lorenzo is still adamant that there is no pressure to pick up the World Championship crown in his sophomore year.

`There have been no objectives set out, and nobody is demanding that we win the title,´ says the 21 year-old. `I think that if I can improve my results then it will be an extraordinary season.´

Lorenzo will not be using the complete 2009 Fiat Yamaha package until February, leaving him just six days with which to familiarise himself with a new engine before the opening Grand Prix of the year.

The latest version of the Yamaha M1, modified with the principle intention of giving better power delivery when cornering, is being worked on in Japan, although Lorenzo has plenty with which to get accustomed at this month´s Official Test in Jerez.

`I have only had the chance to try the new bike for a day, with the intention of adjusting to the new regulations,´ said the Spaniard of his first run with Bridgestone tyres after a year with Michelin.

`The bike isn´t working perfectly, so in Jerez we will be working above all with the chassis, now that we won´t have the engine until Sepang.´

Another novelty set to come is a new racing number for the former two-time 250cc World Champion, who is retiring his `48´ for the beginning of a new era. Having narrowed the options down to two -23 and 99- with the help of Spanish newspaper readers, Lorenzo is now taking his time to settle on the final figure.

`We´ve done some tests to see how the two would be aesthetically, but the decision will be made further down the line. We will definitely make the choice in January.´

In the meantime, the factory rider is bringing the `Loren-show´ to the world of four wheels, competing in the Monza Rally this weekend. Like his MotoGP aspirations, the chances of a good result are being played down in the run-up to his rally debut.

`It´s an opportunity to have a fun three days on four wheels. I had a little incident in practice on Thursday that made me realise that it is a little more stable than a bike,´ he explained. `It´s just for enjoyment and, as there are plenty of riders with more experience than myself, I´m sure to finish near last. My goal is to complete the race.´

The Monza Rally takes place this weekend in Italy.

MotoGP, 2008, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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