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GP Week : Issue 51
5 Minutes with ... JORGE LORENZO Last year, Jorge Lorenzo blew into MotoGP with a better record in the junior classes than Vale was littered with crashes, but now he is giving his illustrious team-mate a bit of a fright. He sp GPWEEK: At the start of the year, you said you’d be happy with a top three position. Has that changed? Are you now thinking more about winning overall? JORGE LORENZO: The thing I learned from the past is to maintain my mind constant. Not to be very high and not to be very low. When you really trust yourself, then you can become constant. You had a feisty reputation in the 125 class. In the last three years, you seem to have calmed down a lot. You’re friendly in the paddock and with the fans. What’s changed? I try to feel the importance of other people. Because they are important for me. They are in my world, and when you start to love yourself you start to love other people. The most important thing is to be fast. If you are a good person and you are the last one, the Press is not going to put you in the newspaper. But I don’t think it’s a negative to have a friendship with the people. You don’t need to treat people bad to be fast. Where is this new man coming from? Something inside? I have good persons around me. Especially now. In the past, maybe I did some mistake with some people. But now I have good influence. But also I am a very thinking guy. I always looking at the people, how they act. And you always can learn something. Every person has something that you don’t have. Does it make you a better racer? When you are happy, when you are grateful, when you love yourself … then are a little bit faster. You started racing so young. Other riders have said to me how they missed out on socialising because of racing every weekend as kids. Do you think you missed a lot of growing up? This is true. I think me more than the other riders, even. Because my father was very strict with training. I would get out with the friends, but not so many times. And this for 20 sure gets you another vision of the life, and you get less sociable. When I separated from my father, this was one of the things I wanted to change is to get more sociable. And I can say to you that my chase for this point is so big. With your new regime (his new manager is Brazilian giant Marcos Hirsch, formerly his trainer) I believe you also have some new meditation technique. Yes. This is one point I change for my daily training. I start to do relaxation and meditation. I have one teacher from the beginning of this year who teaches me to get to relax. And this not only helps you in the moment you want to relax, when you are nervous. This also helps you to start to trust more in yourself whatever the circumstances are. So you lie there in the dark? Not only that. You have to close your eyes and to feel your body, and not to think about anything … not to have any thoughts in your mind. This is very difficult. It is like you are asleep, but not asleep – in the middle, on the line. So difficult to keep this line for 10 minutes. On the grid, you wear those big stereo- headphone dark glasses. Are they switched on? Do they help? I am with Oakley, and they have these MP3 glasses. It is good for me because it keeps my mind out from the ambient, and I concentrate only my feelings on my body and my thoughts are on the race. You don’t have anybody, you only have the music and you can concentrate more. What music? My favourite group is Red Hot Chilli Peppers. What do you see as your strong points as a racer? I think one of my qualities is concentration. I am able to do 10 laps at the same lap time. This is a natural talent I have. I also have a talent of improving my times, so I am doing the best pace at the end of the race. Not too many riders have this talent. This is very important in MotoGP, when the tyre is starting to slide. And for sure my corner speed is the biggest point. Mid-corner. Because my father always taught me to maintain the throttle and keep a good speed corner. When I was in motocross, I wasn’t the fastest or the best, but I had the best corner speed. I learned also to be fast in the wet, and I improved my reflexes too. Now I am more complete than two years ago. Weak points? Specially with starts, I don’t feel the clutch well enough. Maybe the first laps also. How about technical knowledge? I am improving on that. Because I know I want to be ready to develop a bike, learning a lot of electronics, and the suspension. But if you ask me how works an engine, I can’t explain it. I only know how to transmit my feelings to the mechanics. For the work, I have my mechanics. If I knew how to work on the bike, then Yamaha would have one mechanic less.