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GP Week : Issue 173
Jorge The Second 38 GPWEEK.com // 38 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Jorge Lorenzo has his critics. Some find him lacking in passion, reflected in his calculating willingness to finish second when it is not sensible to do otherwise. Some think him too calculating in other areas too – they are unnerved by his self-conscious self control. You won’t find any disparaging remarks about his riding, or his racing ability. Jorge may have finished tamely in second at 10 out of 17 races this year. But he has never finished lower than second. And on six occasions he has taken flourishing victories. (On the seventh, at Assen, he was knocked off on the first corner.) Jorge has played other percentages this year. That Assen crash robbed him of a brand-new engine: throttle jammed, it revved itself to bits on its side. He’s also had to maintain an icy calm, and keep playing for best-possible, under growing pressure over the last half-dozen races from an on-form Dani Pedrosa on a clearly superior Honda. Or was it? The Yamaha loses a bit in top end, a bit in acceleration and a bit more at every one of Honda’s perfect seamless gearshifts. But the overall package is such that the supremely precise Lorenzo is able to reel off lap after lap, each within a tenth or so of the last, all race long if necessary. They are made for one another. With Casey gone, Lorenzo will be the man to beat next year. And everyone is wondering whether his newly returned Yamaha team-mate Valentino will be the one to do it. MOTOGP >>> PHILLIP ISLAND