Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha team boss Wilco Zeelenberg has admitted repeating the stunning consistency of 2012 will be a tough challenge for the Spaniard.
Lorenzo clinched his second MotoGP world title last season without ever finishing lower than second, which included six victories in Qatar, Le Mans, Catalunya, Silverstone, Mugello and Misano.
But Zeelenberg said repeating that remarkable sequence of consistent results will be even harder in 2013, with competition tougher than he faced last season against Repsol Honda duo Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
Compatriot Pedrosa has been in sparkling form during winter testing and looking better placed than ever to fight for an elusive first world title.
Stoner may have gone but he’s been replaced by formidable rookie Marc Marquez, who is being tipped to fight for the title in his first season.
And Lorenzo will have stiffer competition from inside Yamaha’s factory garage following the return of nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi to replace Ben Spies.
Zeelenberg told MCN: “We know we have a complete package that works on 18 tracks because we could finish first or second last year and that was quite impressive. But it will be a big challenge to do that this year.
We know the package is always good enough to be on the podium and you can’t expect to be making big jumps. It is going to be difficult as it was last year with Casey being there and also Dani. They were the three challengers for the podium and if you are always able to be one of them then Dani couldn’t match that and Casey as well.
That’s impressive but also the other two boys made some mistakes. If they were better then we would not have been able to do this. A lot depends on how the rest are doing because in the Sachsenring Casey crashed out of second place right at the end of the race. I don’t think it is necessary to finish first and second to become world champion but they are winners and they want to win everything. But to do that is impossible.”