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Jorge Lorenzo in focus

Jorge Lorenzo in focus

The 2009 World Championship runner-up discusses his aspirations for the 2010 season, his third in the premier class.

Jorge Lorenzo talks about his rivalry with Valentino Rossi, his goals for the season, and much more in the following interview.

Everyone expects the rivalry between you and Valentino will be even stronger this year. How do you plan to manage it?
I think our rivalry is not personal, it’s sporting. For me it’s normal, we are riders who both want to win, and we are in the same team. Last year we kept our relationship with the media quite polite and I hope it will be the same this year.

Who is your biggest rival this year, and why?
In theory, Valentino, Casey, Dani and me are the riders who are going to fight for the Championship. But I’m sure that it’s possible that someone else could be fighting with us for this title.

Is your aim this season to be World Champion? Will you be satisfied with second place again?
Yes, I would be satisfied with second position. It’s very difficult to get this position, especially now that we compete with such fantastic riders at all the tracks. I want to win, but I’m not in a hurry, so I must be patient.

You made a few mistakes last year. What have you learnt from them, and how will you avoid making similar ones this year?
I think the problem last year was that all four were riding at the limit in every race. That makes it very difficult to finish every race. It’s true that I made a few mistakes in terms of strategy or concentration – these are what I will try to avoid this year. But I’m quite satisfied with the 2009 season.

Your first season in MotoGP was spectacular, but included a lot of injuries. After such an up and down first year, did you expect to be as strong as you were in your second?
I hope to be more consistent and faster, but maybe I won’t be. If I’m not, I won’t let it affect me mentally, I will keep trying to improve my performance.

How do you think you can improve this season? Are there any specific areas you want to focus on that will make you a stronger racer?
I really think that my starts are not the best. This winter I’ve been training very hard to improve this, because if you start well you avoid a lot of problems that occur if you don’t make a good start.

Have you requested any developments for the M1 this year to tailor it more to your riding style?
Fortunately one of my best qualities is that I can adapt my riding style to the bike quite easily. So I don’t think I need to say too much to the engineers about this. Valentino has more experience and is a very good test rider so I hand my hopes for the development of the M1 to him.

If you are faced with a replay of Barcelona 2009 this season, do you think you will know how to beat Valentino this time?
I really don’t know what I could do if it happens again! One way is to imagine what you could do, and another way is to actually react when you are on the bike. Watching some videos I realised that if I closed the line a bit, I could have stopped him passing.

This year you will have a new Team Manager and a new data technician. Do you expect any changes in the way your team works, and what are you expecting from the new team members?
One of the main changes this year is the new Team Manager. These past two years we had Daniele Romagnoli, who was a great Team Manager who worked really hard, and we got very good results. For several reasons we must make a change and now we have Wilco Zeelenberg who can maybe give me some riding advice that Daniele couldn’t, because Wilco is an ex-rider so he has more knowledge about the racing. Also we have a new data engineer, Davide Marelli, and we hope to do a good job.

After two seasons, do you feel as if you’re taking more of a part in the development of the bike?
Yes, I am better prepared for this role, because I have more experience. I know the bike, so I can speak with more knowledge when I talk to the engineers. Valentino continues to be the leader of the development of the M1, but Masao Furusawa knows that I must start doing this difficult job as soon as possible, in the interests of Yamaha and myself.

There was speculation about your contract last year. Do you feel happy in the team at the moment?
Yes, I’m very happy: I always have been at Yamaha. From the first moment I entered this team everyone welcomed me like one of the family. The ambience in the box is perfect, and for me the idea is to continue in Yamaha for a long time.

What do you think about some of Valentino’s comments about your future together in the team? Are you happy sharing a garage with him?
Yes, I’m very happy to be with Valentino because I think with any other rider I couldn’t learn more than I do with him. I think in general we are the best team in MotoGP.

What do you think about the rookies coming into MotoGP this season?
To be honest I didn’t think the MotoGP category could have more talent than it has these past two years, but it seems there will be. The arrival of Spies, Barberá, Bautista and Aoyama will make MotoGP more interesting for the fans and also for the riders.

Do you think Marco Simoncelli or Ben Spies can make as big an impact as you did in 2008?
Yes, why not? They are both World Champions, young and very fast. They want to be faster as soon as possible. Maybe it will be difficult for them to improve on my debut, because I won pole position and finished in second place in my first race. If they don’t crash, maybe they can improve on my final result (of fourth overall).

MotoGP, 2010, Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team

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