Jorge Lorenzo admitted he was relieved to have already wrapped up a second MotoGP world title after he suffered a horrifying high speed crash while leading yesterday’s final race in Valencia.
Tricky conditions meant yesterday’s 30-lap race was a crash fest, which included the Spaniard’s vicious high-side at Turn 10 when he was leading Dani Pedrosa on lap 14.
Lorenzo assessed the tricky conditions better than anybody else on the sighting lap and he opted to pit and switch to his YZR-M1 machine fitted with slick tyres as new asphalt at the Ricardo Tormo track dried quickly.
His decision was fully vindicated as he grabbed the lead on lap four before disaster struck on lap 14 when he was attempting to pass British rider James Ellison.
With such a narrow dry line in that section, Ellison couldn’t move to let Lorenzo through otherwise he would have put himself at risk of crashing and he was unaware at how quickly the Spaniard was closing on his Aprilia ART machine.
Lorenzo clipped a damp part of the track and fell heavily but fortunately unhurt.
Lorenzo, who was on course for a seventh victory, told MCN: “It is a pity but now I appreciate more that I became champion in Phillip Island because if I had arrived here without the championship and crashed like this I wouldn't be so happy now and things would be much different.
"I had a lot of hope to fight for the win here and I was clever to see the race conditions and take this risk to start on slicks. It was the perfect decision. I was patient to wait for the right moments to overtake the riders in front of me.
"When I got to the lead I saw Dani was three seconds behind and then Hector (Barbera) didn't get out of the way of the dry line and I lost all my advantage in one lap.
"Then Dani made a mistake and I got four seconds back and then arrived in a group of four or five lapped riders and none of them went outside of the good line and I was taking a lot of risks to overtake them.”
Lorenzo then accused Ellison of blocking his line and not moving aside when the Cumbrian was aware of him approaching fast.
Ellison strongly denied that accusation but Lorenzo urged MotoGP management to investigate better ways of warning riders that they are about to passed.
The current system is waved blue flags but Lorenzo added: “Maybe there needs to be a warning system on the bikes, like a blue light that comes on so you can see when a fast riding is behind you.
"It would have been much more easy if Ellison had seen the colour of the flags or a light and move to outside the line. Only Valentino (Rossi) went outside of the line and the rest they didn't do anything. That probably cost me the win but if it can help improve the championship I will be satisfied. I will forget it."