American Nicky Hayden believes Jorge Lorenzo thoroughly deserved his first MotoGP world title success in 2010.
The Spaniard has had to contend with accusations that his title success is a hollow victory because of injuries to Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi and compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
Rossi missed four races with a broken right leg at the crucial mid-season phase while the best spell of Pedrosa’s premier class career was abruptly ended in Japan earlier this month when he broke his left collarbone.
Lorenzo won the title with a third place in Sepang last weekend and Hayden said his consistency had made him a deserving champion.
The factory Ducati rider, who won the last 990cc world title in 2006, told MCN: “He’s been on the podium a lot and on the front row a lot and that’s a champion season. He’s not really made any mistakes in practice or anything and nobody can knock him at all.
"The level this year has been very high and he’s been there every week in every condition and just solid. You can say ifs and buts all day long with Rossi’s injury but the bottom line is at the end of 18 races, it’s who has got the most points.
"There’s always a story behind every deal but the bottom line is who has got the most points. You could say what happened with Rossi things would be a little different, but Lorenzo’s the champion and he’s a deserving champion, no doubt about that.”
For full Lorenzo story on his title success and the reaction of Rossi, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards and Casey Stoner, see today’s issue of Motor Cycle News.