Could Jorge Lorenzo ever make a full-time MotoGP™ return?

The five-time World Champion's Dad was on the latest Spanish MotoGP™ Podcast to talk a possible return and if he was right to leave Yamaha

On the latest episode of the Spanish MotoGP™ Podcast, 'Cambia el mapa', the team were joined by Chicho Lorenzo, the father of five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. They explored a wide range of topics including, most notably, whether we could ever see Lorenzo making a full-time return to MotoGP™ and if he was right to leave Yamaha for Ducati in 2016.

Did Jorge’s decision to go back to Yamaha surprise you?

We saw other riders do the same, like Sete Gibernau who left and then came back. And like him, many have wanted to come back but weren’t able to because they didn’t have the necessary support. Jorge has been racing bikes since he was 3 years old. His whole life has revolved around this sport, his profession, and that has meant he had a frantic pace of life, that when you’re living it you don’t realise, but suddenly you hit the brakes and you think about retiring because you’re having a very bad time. Nobody retires when they’re doing well. When you’re enjoying it, you’re achieving your goals, you don’t retire. You retire when the negatives outweigh the positives in whatever you’re experiencing at that moment.

You hit the brakes, you shake off all the pressure and all that suffering, and you’re left with an enormous void. How do you fill it? Once a few weeks have passed you start looking for what you’re going to do. The option of being a Test Rider and doing a wildcard is perfect because you don’t have to be out there giving up everything all year - obviously keep in physical shape - and you can still go to the races in a much more relaxed way, like Pedrosa is doing. I didn’t expect it but it hasn’t surprised me at all that he’s trying, somehow, to continue and I think this is the perfect way for him. 

Do you think that any given moment he could be fast with Yamaha and want to go back to competing the following year?

I think that it’s a possibility. If, all of a sudden, the circumstances align themselves, and a good team, and the possibility of enjoying himself and having a good time without the pressure that he felt in recent years, to ride well and do a very important professional job, which would be to help Yamaha or the factory to get the bike ready and continue experiencing the races without the negative aspects and with more positives, I think that yes, he could be tempted, but I hope not because it’s hard to watch, as a parent.

I think he could end up with this possibility but I hope that, in the end, he doesn’t go back to racing. I think that now he’s already done well. He’s achieved all his objectives and he just has that one thorn in his side, which was the Honda that he couldn’t fight with and get good results. I hope not. 

Looking back, do you think that it was a good decision to leave Yamaha?

It was a brave decision and it worked out because we ended up winning with the Ducati and with the level he had - it wasn’t just a one-off race - he was at a great level with the Ducati; doing poles, getting the victories… the streak was cut short, however, especially with the accident in Thailand, when the engine seized, he flew off and really hurt himself. Aside from losing a lot of confidence, when the bike does something like that, you’re more careful, trusting the bike again at 100% is difficult. But I think that the level he had, he would have had no problem fighting with Marquez for the championship, that’s what he was demonstrating. Suffering is always relative. When you suffer but you achieve your objects the suffering blurs into the background.

Now, when you’re suffering and you’re not achieving your objectives, the suffering takes to the foreground in everything, and there’s nothing but suffering. I think Honda’s thorn stuck in him and I think somehow he wanted to pull it out and say ‘Hey, I can still win races’. I think he still has that haunting him.

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