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Lorenzo: "I wanted something that kept me alive"

The five-time World Champion speaks to the DAZN_ES about leaving Yamaha, Rossi and what might have been at Ducati

Speaking to DAZN_ES' Ernest Riveras, Yamaha factory test rider Jorge Lorenzo chatted about some interesting topics regarding some pivotal moments in his glistening career.

This included the reason behind leaving Yamaha, and how the five-time World Champion could have challenged for at least a sixth if he and Ducati had continued their relationship. In addition, the number 99 offers his brief thoughts on how he thinks Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has plenty left in the locker.

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“I truly believe that if he has a better feeling on the bike than last year he could immensely improve his results and go back to winning races. I firmly believe it,” said Lorenzo, regarding his Yamaha teammate. Unfortunately we won't be seeing Lorenzo alongside Rossi on track in 2020 with Dorna, IRTA and the FIM confirming no wildcards will take place. Lorenzo then offered his thoughts on the Yamaha package:

“It’s true that the sport is getting more and more physical. Riding a MotoGP bike for 45 minutes is very physical but maybe the Yamaha is by far the bike that you don’t have to really be a beastly athlete to be competitive with.”

So why did Lorenzo leave Yamaha? Some would say it was a mistake as Lorenzo would have undoubtedly added to his win tally further, and maybe his World Championship tally if he’d have stayed. After all, Lorenzo and Yamaha was a match made in heaven. Others may say he no longer wanted to be overshadowed by teammate Rossi, being a teammate to one of the biggest names to have graced the sport isn’t an easy ride – despite being one of the biggest names yourself.

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“It’s true that Valentino’s fan and media appeal was very strong and that was evident in 2015, but it wasn’t the main reason,” said Lorenzo. “It was that I had been with Yamaha for nine years, always riding the same bike, working with the same people… I wanted to do something that really kept me alive and gave me a reason to get up in the morning wanting to do my best.

“If I had stayed in Yamaha, I would no doubt have a few less broken bones, I would have achieved more victories and my numbers, overall, would be better, but in those circumstances and at that moment, I would do it all exactly the same if I had to do it again.”

Lorenzo then moves onto chatting about his time at Ducati. A relationship that took time to spark, but once it did Lorenzo and Ducati looked unstoppable on their day. However, we know how the story evolved, with Lorenzo understandably confident that he and the Bologna factory could have challenged for a title.

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“I believe that if I had stayed with Ducati, I would have continued improving with the engineers and with Gigi (Dall’Igna) and imposing my style more and, in general, making a better bike, we could have surely aspired to winning a World Championship, but because of the circumstances - which we all know - it didn’t happen that way.”

Testing schedules for the teams has yet to have been confirmed in 2020. Hopefully we’ll be seeing the 99 Yamaha putting in some mileage somewhere in the not too distant future.

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