Five-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has announced that he is retiring from the sport.
“I always thought there are four significant days in the career of a rider,” said Lorenzo at Valencia, site of MotoGP’s season finale. “Your first race, your first win, your first championship and then the day you retire. Well, as you may imagine, I’m here to tell you this day has arrived for me. I want to announce this will be my last race in MotoGP, and that at the end of this race I will retire from professional racing.
The 32-year-old factory Honda rider explained that a series of injuries prompted his decision to retire after 12 seasons in MotoGP.
“Unfortunately, injuries soon came to play an important role in my season, being unable to ride in normal physical conditions,” he said. “This, plus a bike that never felt natural to me, made my races very difficult. Anyway, I never lost the patience and I kept fighting, just thinking that was a simple matter of time and that after all things would get into the right place.
“But, as I started to see some light I had this bad crash in Montmelo test, and some weeks later that ugly one in Assen. At that point I had to admit, that when I stopped rolling into the gravel, the first thought that came into my mind was, ‘What the hell I’m doing here? Is this really worth it? I’m done with it.’ Some days later after reflecting a lot about my life and career, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to be sure I was not making an early decision.
“The truth is from that crash, the hill became too high for me, and even if I tried I couldn’t find the motivation and patience to be able to keep climbing it. You know, I love this sport, I love to ride, but above all things, I love to win. I understood, that if I’m not able to fight for something big, to fight for the title or at least to fight for victories, I cannot find the motivation to keep going especially at this stage of my career. I realized that my goal with Honda, at least in a short time, was not realistic. I have to say I feel very sorry for Honda, especially for Alberto (Puig, team manager), who really was the one who trusted me and gave me that opportunity. However, I really feel this is the best decision for me and for the team, Jorge Lorenzo and Honda cannot be here just to score some points!”
An emotional Lorenzo then reflected on his “beautiful” career, which going into this weekend’s finale includes 47 wins from 202 MotoGP starts, along with the five championship titles.
“Coming back to my beautiful and successful career, I have always said I’m a very lucky guy. Sometimes I feel a bit like the movie ‘One in a Billion’, the documentary that explained the life of the only Indian whoever came to the NBA. During my career I raced against dozens and dozens of exceptional riders of my generation, some of them even more talented than I am. No one has been as successful as me, but especially most of them did not even make it to the world championship, having to go to work in common jobs. That’s why I feel so lucky to be able to achieve much more than I ever imagined I could archive when I first started. And yes, it’s true, I always worked very hard, but without being at the right place at the right time, and especially without the help of many people who worked with me through my career, would have been impossible for me to achieve what I have done.
“That’s why I would like to sincerely thank all of these people. Especially Carmelo (Ezpeleta, CEO) and Dorna for the treatment and for making MotoGP so great. Derbi, Aprilia, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, specially Giampiero Sachi, Gigi Dalligna, Lin Jarvis and Alberto Puig. Obviously my mother for bringing me to this world. My father, for showing me the passion for this sport and all the sacrifice he has done for me during these years. My fans and my fan club for the unconditional love through all these years. Thank you to all the people that work with me as a personal team, with special mention to Albert Valera, for being always honest and loyal.
“So, this is it, with all my heart, I really wish you all the best, professionally and personally. Thanks for everything.”