Jorge Lorenzo has silenced his critics and stunned the MotoGP world by taking an incredible podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix – his first return to the top three since making the switch to Ducati at the start of the 2017 MotoGP season after nine years and three world titles at Yamaha.
Even more impressively, he did it at a track where Ducati have in the past really struggled, making it even more impressive that he was able to ride an almost perfect race to cut his way through the pack from eighth in a typically Lorenzo fashion.
And with many had already written off the Spaniard’s hopes for the season – and with some in the media already hinting that he could be set to break his two-year contract after only a season – he spoke out after the race to his critics.
“Some people doubted my mentality, but they spoke too early and now they have to take their words back. You cannot doubt any rider in MotoGP because everyone here is very good and can be at the front – but especially anyone who has won world titles and many races in the past.
“It was more than a victory with the Yamaha, because everyone knows the difficulties that we still have with this very special bike, and at a track that has in the past been very difficult for us in the past. But Jerez is one of my favourite tracks and I had a good feeling all weekend, so I knew that we had the potential for the podium.”
But despite that good feeling all weekend, Lorenzo admitted to MCN after the race that while he knew a good result would be possible at Jerez, it was only once he realised his position and pace in the race itself that he knew that it could be possible to break his Ducati duck and take an awful lot of pressure off his shoulders.
“I realised when I was catching Zarco that I could be on the podium. In that moment, you’re focused on riding but you can still think about where your position will be, and when I started catching up I knew it would be possible. It was difficult to keep believing when I was tired at the end of the race, but finally I made the break and in that moment I felt fantastic and knew we could finally make it happen.”