Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo has been a force in MotoGP since his 2008 debut, becoming one of the most dominant Grand Prix riders in the paddock with his 2010 MotoGP championship victory.
Rider: Jorge Lorenzo
Nicknames: Por Fuera, X Fuera
Born: May 4th, 1987 in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain Nationality: Spanish
Team: Yamaha Factory
Machine: YZR-M1 (#99)
Jorge Lorenzo stormed onto the 125cc scene in 2002 and worked his way up to being a title contender after only three seasons. He moved up to the 250 MotoGP class for 2004, finishing fourth in the championship that year. He went on to become one of the most dominant 250 riders over the next two seasons, and picked up a pair of 250 titles in ’06 and ’07. After proving his skills in the 125 and 250 class, there was only one thing left for him to do: Step-up to the big leagues.
For 2008 the Spanish sensation moved up to the MotoGP paddock in order to see where he stood amongst the world’s best. In his MotoGP debut with the Fiat Yamaha squad, Lorenzo was paired with teammate and five-time MotoGP Champion, Valentino Rossi. Yamaha was nice enough to build a wall in the garage between the two teammates, as it was widely rumored the two did not get along.
It was a very up and down rookie year for Lorenzo. He started well, taking a victory in his third race and claiming a number of poles and podium finishes. However, he also experienced a lot of crashes.
Lorenzo set out to make 2009 a new era for his racing career, switching management and changing his longtime number of 48 to 99. The Mallorcan landed on the podium 12 out of 17 rounds, earning him second in the championship.
The following year proved to be a defining moment in the Spaniard’s career. Lorenzo snagged a total of nine wins, seven pole victories and another seven podium finishes throughout the season. After only missing the podium twice, Lorenzo captured the 2010 championship and set a record for the largest points haul in a single season.
After signing a two-year contract with the Factory Yamaha team, Lorenzo will return in 2011 to defend both the Rider and Manufacturer titles. The Mallorcan will be joined by MotoGP rookie phenom, Ben Spies.
Lorenzo came out ready to fight for the 2011 championship, earning podiums in the first three races of the season, one of which was a win in Round 2 at Jerez that put him at the top of the points standings. He would hold there through a handful of subsequent rounds, but then a treacherous contest at Silverstone saw the Mallorcan high-side and take a DNF (his first unfinished race since 2009), ceding the points lead to eventual title winner Casey Stoner. Though Lorenzo fought to regain ground on the Australian, he was unable to make his way back to the top of the standings.
Lorenzo’s 2011 season ended early after a crash in warm-up at Phillip Island forced him to undergo plastic surgery to repair the damage. Stoner went on to clinch the title at the Australian circuit. The Yamaha rider had already opted out of the following contest at Sepang, which was later cancelled following the death of Marco Simoncelli. Lorenzo also sat out the finale at Valencia.
The Mallorcan remained with Yamaha in 2012 as the championship moved into the 1000cc era and Lorenzo kicked-off the season with a win at Qatar. He followed that up with two consecutive second-place results and then three-straight race wins. The season proved to be Lorenzo’s best to-date as he finished either first or second in every race he completed. The Yamaha ace failed to finish just twice, crashing out at Assen after Alvaro Bautista ran into Lorenzo in the first corner of the race. His second unfinished race came in the finale at Valencia when an attempted move around a backmarker sent him into a damp patch that resulted in a high-side crash. Luckily Lorenzo had sealed the 2012 title a round earlier at Phillip Island, becoming the first Spanish rider to ever win two titles in the series.
Mid-way through the 2012 season Lorenzo announced his contract extension with Yamaha through the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
As he did in 2012, Lorenzo won the opener at Qatar in 2013. He was joined on the podium by returning teammate Valentino Rossi and a newcomer to the class, Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda. Rossi wouldn’t be able to continue challenging in the top-three through the remainder of the season, but Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa challenged Lorenzo every step of the way. The heavy pressure forced Lorenzo to race just two days after breaking his collarbone at Assen in order to remain in the title hunt and he was able to salvage fifth despite the injury. Things got worse for Lorenzo in the following round at Sachsenring when he crashed again and reinjured the collarbone, forcing him to sit out the race.
Through the next three rounds Lorenzo raced, but wasn’t at 100%. Still, he was able to take top-three results at Indy and Brno, following up with his fourth win of the season at Silverstone. Once back to full health Lorenzo notched four additional victories through the final six rounds of the year. He remained within reach of the title to the final round, but needed a slip-up from Marquez at Valencia that never came. Lorenzo ended four points adrift of a third GP title behind Marquez.
2013 – 2nd MotoGP – Yamaha
2012 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2011 – 2nd MotoGP – Yamaha
2010 – 1st MotoGP – Yamaha
2009 – 2nd MotoGP – Yamaha
2008 – MotoGP Rookie of the Year
2008 – 4th MotoGP – Yamaha
2007 – 1st 250 MotoGP – Aprilia
2006 – 1st 250 MotoGP – Aprilia
2005 – 4th 250 MotoGP – Honda
2004 – 4th 125 MotoGP – Derbi
2003 – 12th 125 MotoGP – Derbi
2002 – 21st 125 MotoGP – Derbi