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GP Week : Issue 101
With five races to go, the Spaniard is 56 points clear in the title chase. GPWEEK’s Michael Scott caught up with him at Aragon, where he would finish fourth – his first time off the rostrum this year 5 MINUTES WITH ... JORGE LORENZO Jorge Lorenzo’s 2010 has been almost majestic. Victory at round two in Jerez gave him a points lead he has held ever since; while Fiat Yamaha team-mate Rossi crashed trying to catch up, and has now left the team to challenge on a Ducati.. GPWEEK: Jorge, you race like a machine, you give pantomime public victor y shows, and at an interview you are quiet and thoughtful. Which is the real Jorge Lorenzo? JORGE LORENZO: I am the same person. Every person has different attitudes. These three things are completely different. On the bike I must be very focused, with no smile, no thinking, only feeling. In an interview I must use my brain. When I celebrate I am so happy. I do what I have planned, but also is not the same when you have a lot of emotion. What makes you race – is it ego? It is the thing I do better in this life, from three years old, and I was getting better and better, and is my job. I am very fortunate. But for sure the ambition ... you can say that the ego to get better and better gives you the energy to improve. The people who don’t have this energy are ... more slow. Do you ever suffer from starting-grid nerves? Butterflies in the stomach? For me the Moto2 races now are very crazy. I can’t watch the first two corners. I must turn away from the television. For sure a MotoGP bike is more dangerous when you crash – it is more heavy, more power. When I injured myself in Montmelo in 2008 (a big bang on the head meant serious concussion) I told the Press that I was scared to ride the bike. I wasn’t making a joke of this. I was really scared. Only taking things easily and making lots of laps I finally could return again. Some riders get into this dynamic of fear, and they start to increase the fear more and more, and ... they must stop. It is the end. I know it is a very dangerous sport, especially after the Misano tragedy. But it is impossible to be fast thinking that you can crash or injure yourself. Away from racing: do you have to win everything? Yes. From when I was a kid ... from three years old, always very competitive and always trying to win. For me it is the same importance to play a chess game with a friend as my competition in MotoGP. The same focus, and I am the same nervous. Chess is a game of patience. Surely you also need patience in racing? No, is completely different. In racing you don’t need to be very clever, or think too much on the bike. The less you think the more you can go faster. You play more with your instinct. It looks this year like you’re riding with more patience. Yes, could be ... but it is not a question of one year. It is every year a little bit, to understand more, to have more knowledge. And this together with a little bit more faster on the bike gives you more consistency. It is a question of experience, and a question of mistakes ... because to understand this I had a lot crashes and made a lot of mistakes. Next year, Rossi is leaving Yamaha, because of you. Some say that when he is gone you will have difficulty in developing the bike. What do you think of that? Well, could be like this. Because I don’t have experience developing a bike. Valentino didn’t make it when he arrived in MotoGP, because he used Doohan’s bike. But he could understand how to be good with that. One of my qualities is that I adapt to any bike very quick. Give me any 250 or 125 or Superbike and in two or three races I will be very very fast. I have this possibility. Looking at Rossi’s position now – the king in trouble from new rivals – do you think about your own future?You can’t be 23 years old for the rest of your life. And when you are 40 or 50, you can’t race in MotoGP at a high level. For sure it will happen to me, and I hope that if I want to stay in MotoGP, I will try to keep my physical condition. But you know, Valentino is racing ... I don’t say the same as before the accident, but still at a very high level. I think with his experience and his talent and his capacity to improve a bike, he will be able to fight for a world title from the first moment. That’s my opinion. What was the last present you bought yourself – like a Ferrari, or a helicopter, or a yacht? (Laughs): No – I am still driving a small car, a Fiat 500, and I am still living in a normal house. I don’t live a luxury life. I don’t say I won’t make it like this in the future, but at the moment it is not my goal. The last thing I bought myself was a Gucci jacket. What about a present if you win the championship? I don’t know. But for sure maybe the BMW I might win for practice will be very nice. But that is a free present, so perhaps I will have to think about something else. How many hours a day do you spend on Twitter? (Laughs again): Not so much time in total, but many times a day. I like it, you can be very close to the fans. Before Twitter it was difficult to do that. Normally sportsmen don’t respond to questions from the fans, but I try to. You can’t respond to every question, but the most interesting questions. I read a lot of them. 22