Jorge Lorenzo breaks silence on Marc Marquez clash

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cJorge Lorenzo has spoken for the first time in detail about the controversial last lap clash he was involved in with hard riding compatriot Marc Marquez in Sunday’s Spanish MotoGP race at Jerez.

The factory Yamaha rider lost second place and the chance to lead the 2013 world championship standings when he was involved in a dramatic final corner on the last lap in Jerez.

Lorenzo thought he had done enough to take second behind Dani Pedrosa when Marquez launched an aggressive attempt to overtake on the brakes at the final left-hander.

The pair collided and it was Marquez who grabbed second and the series lead while Lorenzo was left raging at what he felt was a pass too aggressive and dangerous.

The drama had started at Turn 6 on the final lap when Marquez tried and failed with a pass to snatch second from the reigning world champion.

He ran wide after running in too hot and Lorenzo then thought he had enough of a gap in front of the rookie to not adopt a defensive line approaching the final corner.

But with space to attack, Marquez duly obliged with a trademark ruthless move that saw contact between his factory RC213V and Lorenzo’s Yamaha YZR-M1.

The double MotoGP world champion was livid and repeatedly refused to acknowledge Marquez after the 27-lap clash.

And when faced with a barrage of questions from the media in the post race press conference, he refused to make any comment on the incident that dropped him to third in the world championship standings.

Having had time to analyse the incident and compose his thoughts following a one-day test at the Jerez track yesterday (Monday), Lorenzo finally offered his thoughts on the incident and he said he had not learnt from his heart-breaking last corner defeat to bitter rival Valentino Rossi in the Catalunya race back in 2009.

Lorenzo and Rossi engaged in a titanic battle, which the Spaniard thought he had won entering the final corner.

But he lost out as Rossi produced an audacious but clean pass to snatch one of the most memorable victories in the modern MotoGP era.

Reflecting on defeat to Marquez, Lorenzo told MCN: “I lost the second place and it was like this. Race Direction decided not to do anything and that’s it. We didn’t crash and that's important and I lost four points and the lead in the world championship.

But it is a good lesson to learn again because after Montmelo in 2009 I thought I had learnt the lesson. This time it was different because in Montmelo I knew that Valentino was there but in Jerez I thought he (Marquez) was further back but he was closer than I expected. I didn’t make a defensive line. This was my mistake and this is a lesson to learn in the future which is not be to be confident of the distance of the rider behind.”

When asked by MCN if he felt Race Direction had been too lenient with Marquez and that his move warranted a penalty, Lorenzo added: “I don’t think that it matters so much what I think because it is not me taking the decision. Let’s see what happens in the future and maybe this will improve me as a rider and I will be more aggressive like I was in 250s.

Let’s see what happens in the future. I don’t know how I will act on the bike. Sometimes you can act differently than you would when you are outside of the bike. I can only improve my riding so for this reason and I think this is positive what happened. Probably not only defensively but offensively because in the last period I have not been a good braker.”

Lorenzo also acknowledged his refusal to shake the hand of Marquez in Parc Ferme or tap champagne bottles on the podium was a response born out of frustration and a natural human reaction in the heat of the moment.

He added: “On one hand let’s say I was very hot. Only three minutes before Parc Ferme I lost second place and the chance to lead the world championship after a very difficult race where I was fighting with my bike to finish close to them. It was a human reaction and all the people that criticise me for not accepting the apology from Marc, they would do exactly the same in my situation. When I was hot I didn’t take his hand iit was a natural feeling for me but with a cool mind then probably I would have acted differently. I can excuse him.”

For more on the Lorenzo/Marquez clash in Jerez, see the May 8 issue of Motor Cycle News.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt