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Lorenzo: ‘I hope to take one big final step forward as a rider’

In an in-depth and candid interview, published last weekend in the ‘ICON’ supplement of Spain’s El País newspaper, Jorge Lorenzo gave an insight into his philosophy as a rider and provided a glimpse of what he is really like away from racing.

The 2010 and 2012 MotoGP™ World Champion reaches a special milestone this weekend, as he’s set to notch up his 200th Grand Prix. On Sunday he also celebrates his 27th birthday.

He will therefore become the youngest rider in history to reach a double century of World Championship appearances. In his interview with ICON he speaks about his journey as a rider and covers plenty more topics.

After 199 races across the three Grand Prix categories Lorenzo is clear about what he rates as his most outstanding performance, a cherished memory from his 250cc days. “Phillip Island 2007,” he states. “I felt like I reached close to perfection that day. Well not perfection, that’s imposible, but I was at my best ever. It couldn’t have felt any better on the bike, I was taking two seconds out of everyone else every lap and everything seemed easy. In the races which came after I realised it’s not so easy, or at least hardly ever feels that way.”

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider also discusses his own strengths and weaknesses, and the qualities which define him as a man, saying, “From a young age I had a clear vision. I have a strong personality, I’ve always been that way. I’ve tried to mellow out, so that people don’t think of me as aggressive, arrogant or confrontational.”

“I think the perception of me has been swayed by certain things I’ve said in the heat of the moment on occasion, as I haven’t always been diplomatic. But I feel that I’ve improved with this recently. I try to see the positive qualities in those around me and to focus on that, copy it. That requires humility and without being humble you can’t change in the way I’ve done over the years.

Lorenzo also even considers the idea that he could be viewed as something of a veteran, despite his relatively young age. “It sounds terrible but I guess it’s true. I still feel like I can take one more big step forward and improve again as a rider. But the reality of our sport from what I’ve seen is that at 26 you are at your peak, you normally stay there for a few years and then your level starts to go down.”

“When you’re younger you are braver, hungrier and willing to risk more. That can give you the edge sometimes but it can also mean you make worse decisions and you crash more. I think I’m close to the sweet spot between youth and experience, but if I had to make a choice between the two I’d go for experience and everything that brings with it.”

When asked about his rivals and whether facing up to riders of the quality that he has encountered in MotoGP has made him stronger, he answers, “Only if you beat them!”

“If you have amazing rivals and they always beat you, no-one remembers who you are. That’s just the way sport is. Second place is first loser.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2014, Jorge Lorenzo

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