Carmelo Ezpeleta and Jorge Lorenzo today took part in a press conference organised by Spanish agency Europa Press (you can watch it in its entirety in the video here above). For the Majorcan, it was an opportunity to summarise the situation just a few days prior to the start of the championship, race one set to take place at Losail, in Qatar, on 10 March.
Jorge touched on many aspects, including his physical condition, the Honda dream team, and his relationship with Marquez and Rossi.
Here's what he had to say.
DREAM TEAM IN NAME AND IN PRACTICE - “One of the dreams of any rider is to be part of the Honda factory team, due to its success and its strength. If I make a football comparison, I'd say it's like playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona. I think the definition of dream team is valid, we are the only two current riders, along with Valentino, to have won a MotoGP world championship and we've won it all. But in our sport we can't lie down and only the results can tell us whether we deserve this definition”.
MARQUEZ ‘WORSE’ THAN ROSSI - “I hope Marquez is an easier team-mate than Rossi, but the reality is quite different. It will be tougher against Marc, because of his speed, his aggression and his hunger. He's 26, he's world champion and he knows the bike much better than me. But in MotoGP anything is possible and there are always surprises, clearly I'm not the favourite but I hope to be a surprise. During my career, I've always chased my goals and achieved them. As for racing, it was tough to reach the world championship starting out from Majorca, no one had ever done so before, I managed it and then, step by step, I was able to become MotoGP world champion, everything that came after has been a gift”.
THERE ARE NO FAVOURITES - “In MotoGP we've reached such a high level of competitiveness that it's difficult to identify a true favourite. It's not like in 2010 when you could reach the podium each weekend, now you can win a race with a 5 second lead and then finish tenth in the next race, it depends a lot on the tracks. Every thousandth, every tenth, counts for so much. Vinales was very fast over one lap in Qatar, but the race is another matter. There are several riders who can beat Marquez, not just me, and we could already see it this year. We've seen Suzuki and Ducati take a step forward, and us too, I think right now there are 6 or 7 riders with a real chance of winning the title, not just Marc and I ”.
THE ORDEAL OF INJURY - “I've been through a bit of an ordeal with injuries, as first I fractured a toe at Aragon and then I injured a ligament in Thailand when the Ducati engine broke, and then there was the training incident. I've continued to train but I'm still lacking that rhythm on the bike”.
THE SPLIT PERSONALITY OF RIDERS - “Everyone changes, but a rider's central core remains the same. I've done all I can to improve on my defects, also because I had a disciplined upbringing and wanted to be a more rounded person. Maybe that's why I've changed so much. I think all riders have a split personality: that we see on track and then how we are at home with friends and family. It's the competition that causes this, striving to be the best and hiding your secrets, it's hard to understand from the outside”.