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GP Week : Issue 176
Is Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo already thinking of retirement? Some believe that to be true after comments the two-time MotoGP world champion made during an appearance at the EICMA show in Milan. “I will race for two more years, then we'll see,” he said. “At 15, everything is fun, but then the sport can become routine.” The death of Marco Simoncelli in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix “was a blow to us all, and made us think that it can happen to any of us, but we know that the risk is part of the sport.” As always, that isn’t the full story. Lorenzo continues to insist that it’s all good within the Yamaha family, while privately expressing his displeasure with Yamaha’s decision to sign his old rival: “It's good for Yamaha, Valentino and me, because it will push me to go faster,” the loyal soldier said. “I've seen Valentino happy; the M1 is an easier bike, I'm sure he will be strong. With the Ducati, besides Stoner, no one has succeeded. There is something that is not right.” Not right may be Lorenzo’s public position. While watching Rossi during the Valencia test, he was caught on camera saying, “Look, look at the champion.” Rather than retire, it’s likely Lorenzo will move to the Repsol Honda team in 2014. The Majorcan’s management negotiated with Honda this season before Lorenzo re-signed with Yamaha. But Lorenzo was said to be livid that he wasn’t fully apprised of the Honda offer. Not long after, he changed management. LORENZO PONDERING HIS FUTURE? MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS REALITY STRIKES: CASEY SIGNS OFF Casey Stoner signed off his final blog for the Repsol Honda team with mixed emotions about his departure from the world stage. The two-time world champion, who’d spent much of the season slamming championship organizers Dorna for their stewardship, admitted to beginning to feel the pangs of departure. The long good-bye had begun early in the season when Stoner initially denied he was planning to retire. But a senior Honda team member had leaked his intent and Stoner’s hand was forced. The Australian came clean during the press conference for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, then spent much of the season reiterating his displeasure with a number of issues, including the dumbing down of the prototypes and the creation of the CRT bikes, which he and many other prototype riders believed were dangerous: “I'm not a very emotional person, but I'm definitely feeling it a little now,” he said in his final blog. “My team have been like my second family and the race track like a second home since I can remember, so it's going to be weird not to be around this week when they are testing for 2013.” The highlight of his season was his sixth consecutive win in his home Australian Grand Prix, the low point the high-side in qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that fractured his ankle and ended his championship run: “It's been a very long few weeks and I'm relieved that the season has come to an end and I've escaped damaging my ankle any further. I am disappointed that I wasn't in the championship fight until the end, due to my injury, but this is the way it happens sometimes and I have to live with it. It's just unfortunate it had to happen to me in my final year in MotoGP.” Stoner vowed to return to the paddock, though as a civilian: “I'm sure I'll be back to visit a race or two next year; maybe I'll chose a wet and cold race so that I can enjoy watching all the riders line up for the race, whilst I'm sipping on a nice cup of tea in the back of the garage.” silkolene.com MotoGP - Paul Bird Motorsport James Ellison ends rookie season in style with 4th place finish in CRT. 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: