Jorge Lorenzo Q and A
Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo has spoken about his thoughts ahead of the 2010 MotoGP world championship campaign.
Preparing for this third year in Yamaha’s official factory team, the double world 250GP champion talked about his rivalry with team-mate Valentino Rossi and his aspirations and expectations for the new season which gets underway in Qatar on April 11.
Everyone expects that the rivalry between you and Valentino will be even stronger this year. How do you plan to manage it?
“I think our rivalry is not personal, but just limited to the sport area. For me it is normal: we both want to win and we are in the same team.
"Last year we had a very polite and good relationship with the media and I expect this year to be the same again.
Who is your biggest rival this year and why?
“I don’t know. Theoretically Valentino, Casey, Dani and me are the riders who are going to fight for the championship, but I am sure that it is possible that somebody else will be fighting with us for the championship.”
Is your aim this season to be world champion? Will you be satisfied with second place again?
“Yes, I would be satisfied with the second position. It is a very difficult position to get, especially now that I am riding with fantastic riders.
"Anyway, I want to win but I am not in a hurry to get the championship. I have to be patient.
You made a few mistakes last year, what have you learnt from them and how will you avoid making similar ones this year?
“I think that last year’s problem was that all four riders were riding at their limit at every race and in that condition it is very difficult to finish the races.
"It is true that I made a few mistakes of strategy or concentration that I will try to avoid this year, but I am quite satisfied with my 2009 season.
Your first season in MotoGP was spectacular but included a lot of injuries. After such an up-and-down first year, did you expect to be as strong as you were in your second?
“I hoped to be more regular and faster. Again this year I want to try to be better but you know, maybe I will not get it.
"And if you can’t be better, you may go down mentally, so I will try again and I will try to improve my performances.”
How do you think you can improve this season? Are there any specific areas you want to focus on that will make you a stronger racer?
“Yes, I really think that my starts are not the best. This winter I have been training very hard to improve this quality, because if you start well you avoid many problems... “
Have you requested any developments for the M1 this year to tailor it more to your riding style?
“You know, fortunately one of my best qualities is that I can adapt my riding style pretty easily, so for this reason I don’t think I have to tell many things to our engineers.
"I think Valentino has more experience and is a very good rider, so I have my hopes to him to develop the M1.”
If you are faced with a replay of Barcelona 2009 this season, do you think you will know how to beat Valentino this time?
“Well, I really don’t know what I could do if that happened again this year. One thing is what you imagine you could be doing and another thing is what you do when you are on the bike.
"I have seen many videos about that overtaking and maybe I could have closed the line more. But, as I said, who knows... “
This year you will have a new team manager and a new data technician, do you expect any changes in the way your team works and what are you expecting from the new team members?
“One of the main changes this year is the new team manager. Last two years we had Daniele Romagnoli, that was a great team manager: he worked very hard and we got very good results.
"For a series of reasons we had to change the team manager and now we have Wilco Zeelenberg, who may give me some good advices, that Daniele could not give me, because Wilco is a former rider and for sure he has more knowledge about racing.
"s you know we have a new data engineer, Davide Marelli, and I hope we will be doing a good job together.”
After two seasons, do you feel as if you’re taking more of a part in the development of the bike?
“Yes, I am more prepared to do this job because I have more experience and I know more about the bike.
"I can speak with the engineers with more knowledge about this job. Valentino continues to be the leader of the development of the M1 but Furusawa knows that I must start this difficult job as soon as possible, in the interest of Yamaha and mine.”
There was speculation about your contract last year. Do you feel happy in the team at the moment?
“Yes, I am very very happy. I have always been happy in Yamaha. From the first moment I joined this factory they all welcomed me like one of the family and the ambience in the garage is perfect.
"To me, my ideal is to be staying with Yamaha for a long time. We will see.”
What do you think about some of Valentino’s comments about your future together in the team? Are you happy sharing a garage with him?
“Yes, I am happy to be with Valentino. I think that with no other riders I could learn more than with him. In general we are the best team in MotoGP.”
What do you think about the rookies coming into MotoGP this season?
“To be honest, I did not expect that the MotoGP category could be more talented that it was in the last two years, but it seems that it will be a more and more fast category next season.
"For sure the coming of Spies, Bautista, Barbera and Aoyama will do the show of the MotoGP even more interesting for the fans and for the riders.”
Do you think Simoncelli or Spies can make as big an impact as you made in 2008?
“Yes, why not? They are world champions, they are young, they are very fast and they want to be fast in MotoGP as early as possible.
"Maybe it will not be easy to improve my debut, because I won the pole position and I finished second in the race, but if they do not crash, they could even improve my final result.”