Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered a vintage performance at Motegi on Sunday, to ensure he did not relinquish his premier class title at the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan.
Riding impeccably from pole position the Majorcan rider led the race from start to finish over the 24 lap contest, eventually crossing the finishing line 3.188s ahead of Marc Marquez - to take the title fight to Valencia.
Afterwards he enthused, “Looking at the race classification all the top five after me were Honda riders and normally this track is better for them. So winning at Honda’s home track with Yamaha’s 200th victory in the MotoGP class, when we also took a risk with the soft tyre, was a pleasure. It was a hard race physically but I kept my concentration and I really wanted this victory.”
The Yamaha Factory Racing rider and his crew made a last minute switch to an extra soft tyre option shortly before the race and the gamble paid off.
Lorenzo explained, “We made the decision late on because just before the race the temperature was 10 degrees warmer than in morning practice and I felt better on the softer tyres. I think it was the right choice for me on the Yamaha but maybe for the Hondas they were better on a different tyre.”
Lorenzo’s 51st career victory means the gap between him and Marquez is reduced to 13 points in the standings with just one race remaining.
Looking forward to the season finale in two weeks time Lorenzo knows he will still be in the hunt at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
“When you look at the Moto3 and Moto2 races today you never know what can happen,” said the 26 year-old. “Until we finish racing we know the championship is not over. I’m not the leading rider so it’s not all up to me, so let’s see how our strategy is at Valencia. I am the rider with the most victories in 2013 and that’s very important.”
Lorenzo’s stunning victory in Japan was his seventh in 2013 and marks the 111th time he has stood on the podium in Grand Prix racing. Meanwhile, Marquez has six wins to his name this year.