Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo calls it Quits

On Thursday, MotoGP world stood still as Jorge Lorenzo, a Three Time MotoGP World Champion and Two Time 250cc World Champion announced his retirement on an exceptionally arranged press conference alongside Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. After a difficult 2019 MotoGP season, he decided to hang his boots for good from the grand prix racing at the end of this season.

The announcement came ahead of the season finale Valencia GP this weekend. The Honda rider was plagued by multiple injuries. Moreover, the Spaniard found it difficult to adapt to the Honda RC213V, which further made things complicated since he has not had a top-10 finish this season. Needless to say, this comes as a huge surprise to Lorenzo's fans who still believed he had a couple of seasons left before he called it quits.

A Remarkable Career

125cc & 250cc World Championship

Lorenzo made his championship debut on his fifteenth birthday in 2002, on the second day of qualifying for the 2002 125cc Spanish Grand Prix, he had to miss the Friday practice as he was not old enough to participate in the race. Although he did not win any championships in his debut season, the talented Spaniard created lot of noise due to his riding style.

After competing in 125cc segment, Lorenzo entered the 250cc championships, the Spaniard went on to win the 2006 World Championship title in the 250cc class. He dominated the 2007 season, winning the 250cc World Championship again. His victory at Misano in 2007 was his 16th in the 250cc segment, making him the most successful Spanish rider of all time in the intermediate class – topping the list by beating Dani Pedrosa and Sito Pons with 1 additional gp win.

MotoGP World Championship

After being linked with a Yamaha MotoGP factory team, he was officially announced as Valentino Rossi's partner in Yamaha Factory Team on a two-year on 25th July 2007. Starting in 2008, his first race win came in the third round in Portugal, though Valentino Rossi won the Championship that season, his riding style was again appreciated by everyone. In 2009 season, he came close to winning the title when he ran Rossi close with winning 4 Races in the Calendar Year.

His first title came in 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, where he had two broken bones in his hands in a pre-season crash. These injuries didn’t stop him to take a 47 point lead that season.  He scored a position upwards of 4th in all the races he competed in that year. Dani Pedrosa, the only man who could still overtake Lorenzo in the standings, suffered a broken collarbone during practice, causing him to miss the next two races and virtually guaranteeing Lorenzo would become champion.

Lorenzo’s next title came in 2012, where he won 4 out of the first 6 races, extending his lead on the table. The GP revolved around Lorenzo, Pedrosa and the defending champion Casey Stoner, who crashed in the final lap of German Grand Prix. Lorenzo finished the season 19 points ahead of Pedrosa.

His final World title came in 2015. Lorenzo started the season quietly with three finishes off the podium, whereas Rossi took wins in Qatar and Argentina. Thereafter, Lorenzo took four successive wins for the first time in his career to bring himself back in the championship race. This season saw several clashes between the championship contenders. One such clash was between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, which escalated so much that Rossi accused Márquez of helping Lorenzo in his title aspirations at Phillip Island, in the pre-event press conference at Sepang.

In the Final Race of the Season, Rossi was penalized for taking Marquez out in Malaysia, which meant he had to start in the end in Valencia, with Lorenzo starting in Pole Position, Even though Rossi came fourth, the race saw a fight between Lorenzo and Marquez, which the Spaniard won eventually to seal the Victory by Merely 5 Points.

After his third title win, Lorenzo had two difficult seasons with Yamaha, Where the talented Spaniard became a second fiddle to Rossi, He stayed with them till 2017 after which he joined Ducati for a two-year contract.

Later on he made a move to Repsol Honda after a disappointing 2018 season with Ducati where he replaced then retiring Dani Pedrosa.

Eventually, the injuries took a toll on him, as he announced his retirement at the end of 2019 season at the age of 32.

Retirement better than never-ending injuries

Lorenzo’s retirement will be effective following the final race weekend of the 2019 MotoGP season.

The legendary racer went on, stating that injuries played huge role and ‘the hill became so high that he couldn’t find the motivation to climb it’. He apologized Honda for leaving without completing his contract with them. Thanking all his fans, teams and mentors who supported him throughout his amazing career, Lorenzo finished 19th in his last race at Valencia Grand Prix.

Lorenzo will be remembered as an immense talent and a legend in the Sport, a perfectionist by nature, he impressed many people through his relentless riding style which saw him win many races and gave us many incredible battles to remember.

We give our heartiest congratulations to the three time champion and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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