When it was announced that Jorge Lorenzo would be holding a special press conference at 3pm, the Thursday before the start of the Valencia round for MotoGP, and that Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta would be talking at the media event as well, the news could only mean one thing: Jorge Lorenzo was about to announce his retirement from the MotoGP Championship.
It is true what they say about smoke and fire, and today the smoke cleared for an announcement from the man himself, telling a packed press conference room that “this will be my last race in MotoGP” and his last race-weekend as a professional rider.
This news was maybe not a surprise, since for the bulk of the 2019 season there has been talk of what would become of Jorge Lorenzo, as the former world champion struggled to come to terms not only with the Repsol Honda RC213V, but also the aftermath of serious injury.
Nevertheless, the news today perhaps comes as surprise, as what was so widely speculated upon finally moved from supposition to actual reality.
Lorenzo says that the moment he knew he needed to retire came after this year’s Malaysian GP at Sepang, which is well after the rumors and murmurings in the grand prix paddock about his possible departure.
Jorge Lorenzo leaves the sport as a five-time World Champion, with three titles in MotoGP (2010, 2012, & 2015) and two titles in 250GP (2006 & 2007). He has amassed 68 grand prix wins, and 152 podiums.
Unstoppable if he had clear track in front of him, Lorenzo was one of the original four “aliens” in the MotoGP Championship, and he easily can be counted as one of the biggest riders so far to enter the four-stroke era of grand prix racing.
Struggling at Honda, and finding only moments of success at Ducati, Jorge Lorenzo will best be remembered for his races onboard the Yamaha YZR-M1, which he honed into the perfect weapon for his riding style.
While part of the factory Yamaha team, Lorenzo made his name battling with his teammate Valentino Rossi, which produced some of the most memorable moments ever in MotoGP.
It is not clear yet what the future holds for Lorenzo, though he says he is going to take some time off before he makes that decision.
Photo: Repsol Honda