Jorge Lorenzo BiographyIn MotoGP
09 novembre 2015
Lorenzo was born on the Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain on 4th May 1987. He began riding motorbikes at home at the tender age of three and within months of taking to two wheels was competing in his first minicross races. In 1995, aged eight, he won the Balearic title and followed that up the following year by taking the Island's minicross, trial, minimoto and junior motocross titles.
Lorenzo graduated to road racing and national competition in 1997 and it didn't take him long to adjust, winning the Aprilia 50cc Cup in 1998. Despite officially being too young, a special dispensation in 2000 allowed him to compete in the Spanish 125cc series at the age of 13 and he made history the following year when competing in Europe and becoming the youngest ever winner of a European 125cc race.
The precocious teenager, once again showing that age was no restriction to a quick rise up the ranks of motorbike racing, made his first foray onto the world stage with Derbi at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez in 2002, the third round of the season. He did not reach the legal age of 15 until Saturday and therefore missed the first day of practice but was unfazed by this and impressed the paddock by qualifying for the race, cementing his position in the World Championship over the course of the season as he got to grips with the circuits. The young Majorcan hit the big time the following season, winning his first 125cc Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro and then going on to win three more races the following season, finishing fourth in 2004 and taking his podium tally to nine before making the step up to the quarter-litre class and switching to Honda machinery.
He joined Yamaha in 2008 and made an immediate impact on the MotoGP™ scene with an outstanding pole position at the opening round in Qatar, before finishing second in the race. A second pole position and another podium in round two proved it was no fluke; before he went on to take an incredible third pole and a deserved maiden win at the third race in Estoril. He returned to earth with a bump in China, when a crash in practice saw him fracture both ankles, although he battled on to finish fourth in the race before coming back with another podium next time around in France.
The middle part of the season was difficult for the young Spaniard as several more crashes left him with further injuries and battered confidence, but he never gave up and made it back to claim two more podiums and finished the season in fourth position as rookie of the year.
The 2009 season witnessed Lorenzo take four wins, standing on the podium an additional nine times and only missing out once in all 17 rounds on a front-row qualification, a remarkable show of consistency. He was Rossi's only championship challenger in the latter half of the season and once that chance was gone, he focused on securing the number two spot, which he duly did in Valencia.
The 2010 season saw him take up where he left off in 2009, taking the fight to teammate Rossi from the first race. It soon became clear that Lorenzo was the man to beat that season, the young Majorcan went on to gather an impressive nine race wins on his way to securing his first ever MotoGP™ World Championship Title. In doing so he also broke the record for the number of points earned in a single season, accumulating 383 by the last race in Valencia.
For the 2011 MotoGP™ Championship, the then reigning World Champion teamed with a new racing partner, the 2010 MotoGP™ Rookie of the Year, Ben Spies. The Texan moved up from the Tech3 Yamaha Team to join Yamaha's Factory Racing outfit in the bid for glory. Lorenzo put in a spirited fight to defend his title, recording three race wins and ten podium finishes during the season. A serious crash during round 16 at Phillip Island brought a premature end to the Majorcan's season, securing second in the final standings with 260 points.
The 2012 season proved to be Lorenzo's greatest yet. Against arguably the toughest challengers of his career in protagonists Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa he excelled from the start, taking the victory at the opening round of the year under the floodlights at Qatar. He went on to achieve an incredible record, taking six race wins over the season and always finishing either in first or second place with the exception of two DNFs. Lorenzo claimed his fourth World Title, his second in the premier class, at Phillip Island with one race remaining.
The 2013 season then unfolded as an incredible drama filled spectacle with extreme highs and lows. Rookie rider Marc Marquez became Lorenzo‘s nemesis, the young Spaniard snapping at his heels and grabbing race wins wherever possible. The defending champion fought back against the onslaught, scoring multiple race wins in the early part of the season until a catastrophic high-speed crash in practice in Assen left him with a broken collarbone. Racing fans were then treated to an incredible display of strength and courage as Lorenzo returned to the track just 24hrs after surgery to compete in the race and limit any damage. Disaster then struck again with another major crash, this time in Germany at the Sachsenring circuit, and he suffered further collarbone damage. The second half of the season saw a return to form with stunning victories in Japan, Australia and Spain bringing Lorenzo within a few points of a third title. His second place in the final standings was considered one of his greatest victories.
In 2014 the season didn't start as planned for the four-time world champion with multiple surgeries over the winter leaving him in less than perfect physical condition as battle commenced against arch rival Marquez and teammate Rossi. A DNF in the opening race set the scene for a difficult first half of the season. Despite the set backs the loyalty of Lorenzo‘s fans was ultimately repaid in full as he came back fighting and delivered some stunning rides on his way to third in the standings. In particular the unforgettable masterclass in wet riding at Aragon in front of his Spanish fans stood out, and of course Yamaha‘s home race at the Motegi circuit in Japan was a stunning victory delivered with inch perfect performance. Lorenzo was able to climb back to third, sitting behind his teammate Rossi in the final standings.
Though the 2015 season started in a similar fashion, with bad luck in the form of helmet problems at the first two races, Lorenzo soon retuned to his usual ’headlines-making‘ form when he led the race in Jerez from start to finish and went on to duplicate his performance at the following races at Le Mans, Mugello and Montmeló. It was the first time in his MotoGP™ premier class career that the Spaniard won four races in a row and he did it in the best way possible; by being the first rider to cross the start-finish line every lap of the four races, breaking Stoner‘s record for simultaneous laps led and upping it to 103 consecutive laps.
A rejuvenated Lorenzo was back in contention for the title chase and turned out to be the only contestant that could offer his team-mate and championship standings leader Rossi some opposition. He followed his four GP win-strike up with solid podiums in Assen, Indianapolis and a win in Brno, so by the time the MotoGP™ circus arrived at Silverstone for the Grand Prix of Great Britain he was tied in points with Rossi for the lead in the championship, but held first place as he had secured more race wins.
Unfortunately the second half of the season saw more bad luck, with a fogged up visor at Silverstone, a very unexpected flag-to-flag race at Misano and tyre problems on a quickly drying Twin Ring Motegi circuit. These misfortunes saw the fight for the title continue to Phillip Island where one of the best races of the year took place, with Lorenzo and Rossi as two of the key players. Lorenzo‘s solid second place saw him enter the penultimate race at Sepang with a huge determination to bridge the gap to his team-mate. Despite a less than desirable starting place on the second row of the grid in the tense Grand Prix of Malaysia, he still managed to bring his Yamaha home in second place and improved his chances of winning the championship at the final round as his disadvantage to team-mate Rossi decreased to seven points. The last round in Valencia was one of the most mentally challenging weekends of Lorenzo‘s career. The pressure to perform was mounting, but the Spaniard delivered a brilliant performance in the climax of the season. As Rossi rode from the back of the grid to fourth, Lorenzo had to go all out to keep his Championship dream alive. Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were on his tail for the entire race; one mistake and it would be over, but the experienced Yamaha rider withstood the pressure and – even better – raised his game to a new level to take the victory and thus the Championship with a five points margin. to secure his fourth FIM MotoGP™ World Championship Title and hand Yamaha its fifth MotoGP™ Triple Crown since the team category was added in 2002.
The last time Yamaha won the Rider Title in the MotoGP™ class was in 2012 with Jorge Lorenzo, who also scored the title in 2010. He brought Yamaha's premier class rider titles tally to 17 wins so far. Over this year full of trials and even some errors Lorenzo has proven, not only how high the level of premier class is at the moment, but also that his never-dying determination and incredible focus together with the Yamaha YZR-M1 remain an unbeatable combination that has much more racing history to write.
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