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Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has announced that he will retire from MotoGP™ after the final Grand Prix of the season at this weekend’s Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana.
On Thursday in Valencia, Lorenzo confirmed that he would be holding a Press Conference at 15:00 alongside Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and, with the eyes of the MotoGP™ world on him, a true great of the sport confirmed the 2019 Valencia GP would be his last.
Jorge Lorenzo Press Conference: 'The Spartan' retires
“Hello everyone, thank you very much to everyone who accepted my invitation and attended this press conference, it really means a lot to me and makes me very happy,” began Lorenzo. “I always thought there are four significant days in the career of a rider. Your first race, your first win, your first championship and then the day you retire. Well, as you may imagine, I’m here to tell you this day has arrived for me. I want to announce this will be my last race in MotoGP, and that at the end of this race I will retire from professional racing.
“I was 3-years-old when everything started. Almost 30 years of complete dedication to this sport, my sport. The ones who worked with me, know how much of a perfectionist I am, how much hard work and intensity I put into this. Being like this requires a high level of auto motivation, that’s why after nine unforgettable years with Yamaha, without a doubt the most glorious of my career, I felt I needed a change if I wanted to maintain this high commitment with my sport. Moving to Ducati gave me that big boost I needed and even though the results were bad I used that extra motivation as fuel to not give up and finally win that special race at Mugello, in front of all the Ducati fans. After that, when I signed for Honda I got a similar feeling, achieving one of the dreams of every rider: becoming an official HRC factory rider.”
Jorge Lorenzo: 18 years in the World Championship
The 32-year-old then began to explain why he reached the decision to retire at the end of a difficult 2019 campaign. “Unfortunately, injuries soon came to play an important role in my season, being unable to ride in normal physical conditions. This, plus a bike that never felt natural to me, made my races very difficult. Anyway, I never lost the patience and I kept fighting, just thinking that was a simple matter of time and that after all things would get into the right place.
“But, as I started to see some light I had this bad crash in Montmelo test, and some weeks later that ugly one in Assen. At that point I had to admit, that when I stopped rolling into the gravel, the first thought that came into my mind was “what the hell I’m doing here? Is this really worth it? I’m done with it.” Some days later after reflecting a lot about my life and career, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to be sure I was not making an early decision.
“The truth is from that crash, the hill became too high for me, and even if I tried I couldn’t find the motivation and patience to be able to keep climbing it. You know, I love this sport, I love to ride, but above all things, I love to win. I understood, that if I’m not able to fight for something big, to fight for the title or at least to fight for victories, I cannot find the motivation to keep going especially at this stage of my career. I realised that my goal with Honda, at least in a short time, was not realistic. I have to say I feel very sorry for Honda, especially for Alberto, who really was the one who trusted me and gave me that opportunity.
“I remember that day in Montmelo when we meet and I told him “Don’t make a mistake signing the wrong rider Alberto, trust me and you will not regret”. very sadly, I have to say that I disappointed him, so I did to Takeo, Kuwata, Nomura San and all my team, who I have to say they always treated me in an exceptional way. However, I really feel this is the best decision for me and for the team, Jorge Lorenzo and Honda cannot be here just to score some points!”
"Lorenzo will be a MotoGP Legend in Jerez"
An emotional Lorenzo then reflected on his “beautiful” career: “Coming back to my beautiful and successful career, I have always said I’m a very lucky guy. Sometimes I feel a bit like the movie ‘One in a Billion’, the documentary that explained the life of the only Indian whoever came to the NBA. During my career I raced against dozens and dozens of exceptional riders of my generation, some of them even more talented than I am. No one has been as successful as me, but especially most of them did not even make it to the world championship, having to go to work in common jobs. That’s why I feel so lucky to be able to archive much more than I ever imagine I could archive when I first started. And yes, it’s true, I always worked very hard, but without being at the right place at the right time, and especially without the help of many people who worked with me through my career, would have been impossible for me to achieve what I have done.
“That's why I would like to sincerely thank all of these people. Especially Carmelo and Dorna for the treatment and for making MotoGP so great. Derbi, Aprilia, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, specially Giampiero Sachi, Gigi Dalligna, Lin Jarvis and Alberto Puig. Obviously my mother for bringing me to this world. My father, for showing me the passion for this sport and all the sacrifice he has done for me during these years. My fans and my fan club for the unconditional love through all these years. Thank you to all the people that work with me as a personal team, with special mention to Albert Valera, for being always honest and loyal. So, this is it, with all my heart, I really wish you all the best, professionally and personally. Thanks for everything.”
Following Lorenzo’s speech was a career highlights reel, with Ezpeleta then confirming ‘The Spartan’ will be inducted into the MotoGP™ Hall of Fame as a MotoGP™ Legend at the 2020 Spanish GP in Jerez. A fitting tribute to one of the greatest riders the MotoGP™ paddock has ever seen.
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