The Valencia GP will be the five-time World Champion – Jorge Lorenzos’ last race in the MotoGP World Championship as the 32-year old announced his retirement ahead of his 297th Grand Prix start.
After 18 years of racing at the highest level, Jorge Lorenzo has today announced his retirement from racing ahead of the Valencia GP. With five World Championships, 152 podiums, 68 wins, 69 poles and 37 fastest laps, Lorenzo boasts one of the most impressive and consistent careers in Grand Prix racing. After a bruising campaign in 2019, Lorenzo has decided to draw an end to his Grand Prix career.
Debuting on his 15th birthday on the second day of practice at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2002, Jorge Lorenzo has spent his entire life racing. A first Grand Prix win came just over a year later with his famous ‘Por Fuera’ move in Rio de Janeiro in 2003. After a total of four wins in the 125cc class, ‘The Spartan’ moved to the 250cc championship and soon took back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, his butter-smooth style perfectly suited to the intermediate class. His formidable consistency saw him take 29 podium finishes in three years, including 17 wins and earned him a factory seat in the MotoGP class.
Lorenzo’s start to life in the premier class was nothing short of amazing as he took three-straight pole positions and converted them to three consecutive podium finishes, including a first win in his third MotoGP race. Although some heavy falls would halt his title challenge, Lorenzo established himself as a star of the future as he ended his debut season in fourth place.
2009 saw the soon-to-be World Champion never finish a race lower than fourth and Lorenzo carried this consistency through to 2010 and a debut MotoGP World Championship. Finishing all 18 World Championship rounds in the top four, only twice off the podium, Lorenzo put in a dominating performance to take his first of three premier class crowns. With 383 points, Lorenzo set a new record for points scored in the premier class – a record which would stand for almost a decade. The championship was Spain’s second in the premier class, Alex Criville the only Spanish rider to have previously won.
In 2011 Jorge Lorenzo went toe-to-toe with Casey Stoner, the pair trading wins throughout the season. Unfortunately, an injury in Australia forced Lorenzo to miss the final three races of the season – his efforts during the course of the year still enough to earn him second place in the championship with an impressive 260 points. There was no stopping Lorenzo in 2012 as he took three wins from the first five races and missed out on the top two steps on the podium just once in the first 17 races. Again, his consistency was unmatched and Lorenzo marched to a fourth World Championship, his second in the premier class. His final World Championship came in 2015 as he overcame a season-long challenge from both Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi to clinch the title at the last round in Valencia.
After conquering three championships, Lorenzo made the decision to change manufacturer and in two years took seven podiums and three wins, joining a prestigious club of riders to win on two different manufacturers.
Taking up a new challenge for 2019, Jorge Lorenzo joined the Repsol Honda Team as he set his sights on becoming the first rider to win on three different manufacturers in MotoGP. Unfortunately, a pre-season training crash saw the Mallorca native miss the majority of testing and spend the opening races playing catch up. Despite making constant improvements aboard the Honda RC213V, a heavy crash in Assen saw Lorenzo suffer breaks to his T6 and T8 vertebrae, ruling him out of four Grands Prix and affecting him throughout his return.
Lorenzo leaves the MotoGP World Championship with a number of incredible achievements to his name including: the second most podium finishes in the premier class (114), the second highest amount of pole positions across all classes (69), the fifth most successful rider in terms of wins in the premier class (47) and the third highest point scorer of all time (2896) in the premier class.
“I want to announce this will be my last race in MotoGP, and that at the end of this race I will retire from professional racing. I was 3 years old when everything started. Almost 30 years of complete dedication to this sport. Everyone who has worked with me knows how much of a perfectionist I am, how much hard work and intensity I put into this. Being like this requires a high level of motivation, when I signed for Honda I had an incredible feeling of motivation, achieving one of the dreams of every rider: to be an official HRC factory rider. Unfortunately, injuries came to play an important role in my season, being unable to ride in a normal way. I started to see some light but I had this bad crash in the Montmelo test, and some weeks later that ugly one in Assen. The truth is from that crash, the hill became too high for me, and even if I tried, I couldn’t find the motivation and patience to be able to keep climbing it. I’m disappointed with that, I want to say sorry to Alberto Puig, to Takeo, Kuwata, Nomura and all my team, who I have to say have always treated me in an exceptional way. I would like to sincerely thank everyone at Honda for their support and understanding and also extend my thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been there through my career.”