Fewer mistakes vital for Jorge Lorenzo, says new Yamaha boss

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Jorge Lorenzo’s new team boss Wilco Zeelenberg reckons the key to the Spaniard mounting a stronger challenge for MotoGP glory in 2010 will be making fewer mistakes than last season.

Zeelenberg, who guided Cal Crutchlow to World Supersport glory last year, started his career as Lorenzo’s Fiat Yamaha team manager today when winter testing resumed at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Lorenzo’s title challenge was seriously undermined in 2009 by costly mistakes that saw him crash out at Jerez, Donington Park, Brno and Phillip Island.

And assessing the double world 250GP champion’s title prospects in 2010, the Dutchman said: “Jorge is in his third year of MotoGP and he will try to do less mistakes than last year and he will try to be better than last year.

“Last year he finished second, so this year for sure his goal is the championship.”

Zeelenberg, who replaces Daniele Romagnoli at the helm of Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha squad, said he first met the 2009 premier class last month.

He added: “To be able to work with the youngest and best talented MotoGP rider is like a dream becoming true.

“In my functions as team manager I need to know Jorge very well, so I am reading his book and secondly I have been reading the new rule book for 2010 to be exactly aware of the differences between Supersport and MotoGP. I met him a couple of weeks ago for the very first time.

“He is a very young, intelligent and experienced rider. The first thing I noticed is that you do not have to motivate him…!

Asked what he felt he could bring to Lorenzo’s garage to strengthen his challenge against seven-times MotoGP world champion Rossi, Zeelenberg added: “I think it is very important to know exactly what is going to happen in a couple of hours or in the whole weekend.

“To learn those expectations you need to have much experience and that can already change the situation from losing to win.

“It is difficult to say precisely what it is, but to be aware of what is going to happen, that’s very important.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt