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Jorge Lorenzo Announces Retirement From MotoGP


After a move from Ducati to Honda completely failed to live up to the hype and also left him injured, the former three-time premier class champion has called time on his career

Jorge Lorenzo Announces Retirement
 
  • Lorenzo failed to break into the top ten even once in the first seven races before a horrific crash in Assen.
  • After missing four races to recover from his back injury, Lorenzo’s pace deficit to teammate Marc Marquez grew.
  • He has scored just 25 points to Marquez’s 395 before the final race of the MotoGP season in Valencia.

It’s hard to imagine that it came to this after what was supposed to be one of the most anticipated rider moves in the history of the MotoGP world championship.

Jorge Lorenzo, the three-time premier class champion with Yamaha, has announced his retirement from MotoGP and professional racing after an abysmal 2019 season with the factory Honda team.

“I have always thought there are four significant days in the life of a rider,” said Lorenzo at a press conference in Valencia ahead of the final race of the season. “The day of your first race, then your first win, your first championship and then the day you retire.

“I am here to announce that day has arrived for me. This will be my last race in MotoGP, at the end of which I will retire as a professional rider.”

Jorge Lorenzo Announces Retirement

The 32-year-old Spaniard has scored just 25 points all year and missed four races after a sickening crash during the Dutch TT at Assen resulted in a serious back injury. Both prior to the injury and even after coming back, Lorenzo never managed to finish a race inside the top ten.

“When I thought I was seeing some light at the end of the tunnel an ugly crash in the Montmelo test happened,” said Lorenzo. “And then I crash(ed) again at Assen and you know what the consequences of that were.”

In the meantime, his teammate and freshly crowned six-time premier class champion Marc Marquez’s ‘worst’ finishing position has been second. With 11 wins and six second places in the 18 races of the season so far, Marquez’s 2019 points tally stands at 395 in comparison to Lorenzo’s shockingly paltry 25.

The second-best rider astride a Honda this season has been Great Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, who has three podiums and 133 points to his name.

Jorge Lorenzo Announces Retirement

 

“At this stage of my career it was impossible to keep the motivation and to achieve the goal I had in mind at the start of the season,” said Lorenzo. “So, I have to say I feel very sorry for Honda, especially Alberto (Puig), who gave me this opportunity.

“Sadly, I disappointed him, Honda, Takeo Kuwatta and Nomura san. However, I think this is the best decision for me and for the team because we cannot just fight to score a few points.”

Lorenzo has a history of nasty injuries at Assen as a crash in the 2013 Dutch TT left him with a broken collarbone during a practice session. Incredibly, he came back to ride in the race and finished fifth, earning him the nickname ‘Man of Steel.’ He missed out on the title by just four points that year despite winning four of the final six races of the season.

Lorenzo retires as the 2010, 2012 and 2015 premier class champion and two titles in the 250cc class in 2006 and 2007. He raced in a total of 296 grands prix across all three classes, winning 68 of them and scoring 152 podiums.