Honda fear Jorge Lorenzo in 2011

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Honda management fear the biggest threat to the Japanese factory’s bid to win the last 800cc MotoGP title in 2011 will come from Yamaha rival and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The Spaniard had an impeccable 2010 and romped to his first MotoGP crown with nine wins and 16 podiums.

The 23-year-old didn’t finish lower than fourth position all season and he amassed a record tally of 383-points on board Yamaha’s dominant YZR-M1 machine.

Assessing the potential threats to Honda’s bid for 2011 glory, HRC chief Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN: “I think Jorge will be the biggest threat.”

Nakamoto though has refused to rule out the danger that nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi is sure to pose on the factory Ducati GP11.

Rossi struggled to finish 15th on his Ducati debut in Valencia last month but Nakamoto added: “Rossi is Rossi. I think Jorge, Valentino, Dani (Pedrosa) and Casey (Stoner) will be the four guys in the top four again.

"Then you have Andrea (Dovizioso) and Marco (Simoncelli) who are getting closer and maybe in a few races both of them can be fighting for the podium or even to win.”

Winter testing for the 2011 campaign resumes at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia on February 1.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt