Jorge Lorenzo almost retired before Honda deal was announced

Rennie Scaysbrook | December 11, 2018

Jorge Lorenzo almost retired before Honda deal was announced—Jorge Lorenzo has admitted he was close to announcing his retirement at the start of the 2018 MotoGP season when his results did not seem to improve from his worst MotoGP season in 2017.

Jorge Lorenzo almost retired before Honda deal was announced

Jorge Lorenzo almost retired before Honda deal was announced
Lorenzo will now go head to head with Marc Marquez on Honda machinery with renewed motivation.

Lorenzo made the claim while doing a television interview with UK broadcaster BT Sport, admitting before the 2018 Italian MotoGP race, things were not looking promising for the future.

“I was a bit depressed because I saw before my eyes the possibility of withdrawing [retiring],” Lorenzo said. “I always thought it would be a relief to stop, but it was different when I found myself close to doing so. Being on the satellite Yamaha team would have been a good option [for 2019], but not the one I wanted. In sport, your value is given by the last races and at that moment it was terrible. I worked and trained like never before, but the results did not come. I knew I was close to victory but people did not believe it. I knew it, I knew what I was missing but at that moment the team probably did not believe in me.”
Lorenzo famously demanded a new fuel tank that gave him better braking support to help late-race fatigue and used it to good effect in its first race by taking a dominant win in the 2018 Italian MotoGP at Mugello. The next day he announced he was leaving Ducati for Repsol Honda.

“They [Ducati] talked for a long time about the tank, like it was something magical,” Lorenzo said. “But it was just the last part of a long job. I told the engineers right away [that he needed a different fuel tank], but either they did not understand or did not believe me.”

Lorenzo is relishing the chance to race Marc Marquez on equal machinery in 2019, knowing he’s the only one to win a MotoGP world championship in the time Marquez has been in the top level.

“I have a lot to learn from him because he’s been on the Honda for many years, but I’m sure he’ll learn something from me, too,” Lorenzo said. “I’m the only one to win a title against Marquez, I do not see why it can’t happen again. I will do my best to succeed. It will not be easy.”

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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.