Jorge Lorenzo has renewed optimism that he will be able to challenge Marc Marquez as the pair both contend for a third MotoGP world crown next year.
In 2014, Lorenzo finished outside the World Championship top two for the first time since his first MotoGP campaign in 2008. Having struggled with a new tyre early in the year, the Mallorcan would suffer a number of issues throughout the campaign. In Malaysia, he admitted that his fitness could have been better. With all of this in mind, the title winner of 2010 and 2012 knows what he has to do.
“I am now at about 70% of my effort for training,” he explained during a dinner with his Fan Club on the outskirts of Barcelona last Saturday evening. “From January we’ll be back to maximum power to be better at the beginning of the season. I am looking forward to first relaxing and then to training very hard.
“When you are already a World Champion in MotoGP, you want to repeat it. Second place is good, third place is good, but obviously we are here to try and win. We know it is not going to be easy because Marquez and Honda together are very strong; they are a very strong couple. But I think if we put in all of our efforts – if the Yamaha is good and so am I, from both a physical and mental side – I think I can fight.”
Last weekend, the Spaniard was delighted to spend time with his Fan Club.
“2009 was the first time and now, after this difficult season, to be surrounded by so many people from around the world for our sixth Fan Club dinner – 40 people from Italy, obviously lots from Spain, but also from Japan, from Poland, Germany and England – is wonderful and we’re having fun,” Lorenzo commented.
Four of the last five MotoGP world crowns have gone the way of either Lorenzo or Marquez, with the only exception being Casey Stoner’s title win in 2011.
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In the Brno MotoGP race Dani Pedrosa won for the first time since Malaysia last year.
He ended the winning streak of Marc Marquez, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi second and third, whilst Marquez came home just off the podium.
From fifth on the grid Pedrosa returned to his best form to blast through the pack and eventually take victory by 0.410s from Lorenzo in front of more than 138,000 fans. For Lorenzo it was his third successive podium result and he also produced a great ride, having started in sixth on the grid.
Rossi got his seventh rostrum result of 2014 in his 245th premier class race as he equaled the all time appearance record in the top class, pulling level with Alex Barros on that front.
With Marquez finishing fourth it is the first time this year that he did not win the race and this is the first time he has finished a MotoGPâ„¢ race off the podium. Marquez is of course still in a commanding position in the standings with a 77 point lead.
Marquez lost out in a midrace battle for third with Rossi, having earlier had a close fight with Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) in the opening laps â€“ with the two former Moto2â„¢ rivals clashing on two occasions.
Iannone would later get the better of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) for fifth in the final stages.
The top ten was completed by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).
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Marquez claimed Spainâ€™s 100th premier class victory and his 10th successive win of the season at the world famous Brickyard.
The MotoGPâ„¢ World Champion becomes the first rider since Mick Doohan in 1997 to win ten successive premier class races.
A slow start off the line had Marquez some way down the order and allowed Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to make an early break. A three-way battle quickly emerged between Rossi, Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as Doviziosoâ€™s tyres began to fade.
Lap 11 saw Marquez take the lead with an impressive move on the Yamaha pair, going on to win by just under two seconds from Lorenzo.
Teammate Pedrosa gambled with a hard front tyre on the newly resurfaced Indianapolis track. The Spaniard was able to fight back and get up to fourth position after qualifying in eighth.
Repsol Honda now lead the team championship by a comfortable 137 points over the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team.
â€œThe race was very hard, especially as the track temperature was very high. I struggled a little with the front tyre so I stayed behind Rossi to try to keep the front tyre cool. I tried to push but then the rear started sliding! Eventually I was able to open the gap and take 25 points,â€ said Marquez.
He added, â€œWe will try to fight for the victory in Brno. The test we had went well but it was very slippery so we donâ€™t have too much data. I have never gone great there and Jorge and Vale are very strong there.â€
Pedrosa added, â€œOverall it has been a difficult weekend in which at no point did I feel good on the bike. We couldn’t find a good setup in practice. Then in the race, although I was able to move up a few places, I was always off the pace if I was going to fight for the podium.â€
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Double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has signed a new two-year contract to stay with Movistar Yamaha.
The Spanish rider, who won the title in 2010 and 2012, follows team-mate Valentino Rossi, who recently also penned a new two-year agreement.
Lorenzo told YamahaMotogp.com: “I strongly believe we can fight for a third title together.”
The 27-year-old heads to Indianapolis this weekend fifth in the standings, 128 points behind leader Marc Marquez.
Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have signed two-year deals with Honda, leaving Aleix Espargaro, sixth in the world championship, as the highest-ranked rider yet to confirm his 2015 plans.
Yamaha team principal Lin Jarvis said: “The 2014 season has been a tough one for Jorge so far but I am hoping that the confirmation of this new agreement will give him the peace of mind to be able to focus 100% of his energy on the remaining races.
“For 2015 and beyond we have no doubt that Jorge will be a strong title contender and we will do our very best to provide him with the materials and the support he needs to be able to realise our shared ambitions.”
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