Only 4 races left till the end of the season and they might not be enough to solve one of the most intricate mysteries of the 2019 MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo. Everything and the opposite of everything was written about the rider from Mallorca during these months, but he has not yet managed to get on top of what is happening to him and, above all, what he is thinking about for his future.
The story is intricate and, at times, seems like a soap opera, reflecting the confusion that surrounds Lorenzo. At the foundation of everything, there is an undeniable and concrete difficulty in adapting to the Honda, a motorcycle that was custom-made for Marquez. The problem is that - simplifying the situation - Marc rides the bike with the rear wheel, Jorge with the front. Two different styles, and the RC213V only likes one.
But Lorenzo doesn't complain about the Honda's behavior to find an excuse. The limits of the project are obvious, or rather, they're obvious to anyone who is not, or does not ride like, Marquez. In fact, Crutchlow's and Nakagami's performances are right there, like a litmus test, and there seems to be no doubt that the RC213V is a winning bike, but only if it's treated in a certain way.
Even after these considerations, and after the injuries (even very serious ones) that affected his season, it's still difficult to think of Jorge in certain positions. His 23 points in 11 races indicate an average for the GP just above 2 points, a road map that remains unexplained.
So we go searching, with a pinch of down-home psychology, for the cause of this crisis inside the Spanish rider's head. He's afraid, he wants to be dumped by Honda, he's lost his motivation, and so on and so forth. By all means, they're all sustainable hypotheses, but they're destined to remain so.
As if that were not enough, Lorenzo also had to face the rumors of his imminent withdrawal. Which he denied, but with a certain delay, despite being away from the competition at that time. But that was enough for those rumors to continue. Also, secret negotiations (but not too many) occurred with Ducati. A sign that Jorge was looking for a way out of a situation in which he is somehow trapped.
The rider from Mallorca already has a contract signed for next season, but the risk is that it could only serve to lengthen his ordeal. Also because they were clear in the upper echelons of the HRC: Marquez is the reference for developing the new bike. He's already tried it several times, giving his own indications, while Lorenzo hasn't. Marc also says he would like an easier bike but, given the recent results, but even if it weren't, it wouldn't be a big problem.
So the only solution for Lorenzo would be to make the best of a bad situation, grit his teeth, and try to commit himself even more towards coming out of the vortex in which he is trapped. Or pack his bags and leave. Where?
There would be an available bike, that of the official KTM vacated by Zarco who, incidentally, will make his Honda debut in place of Nakagami, still also inexplicably without a contract signed for 2020.
Seeing Jorge on the KTM seems unlikely, although perhaps the absolute lack of haste of the Austrian team to find a replacement for Johann suggests that they want to keep a door, if not open, at least half-closed.
The other oddity is seeing Nakagami without a renewal. A Japanese rider who is strongly wanted by the parent company in the MotoGP. The delay makes one think of Honda's desire for a plan B, in case Jorge wades on over, willingly or not, towards other shores.
With the season now coming to an end, if something has to happen, it'll happen fast. Meanwhile, Jorge will have to get back on the bike and try to find the right path for his future. Only one thing is certain: losing a champion of his caliber would be an unforgivable sin for the MotoGP.