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Jorge Lorenzo - Moviestar Yamaha MotoGP Team
Jorge Lorenzo – Moviestar Yamaha MotoGP Team

Lorenzo was born on the Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain on 4th May 1987. He began riding motorbikes at home at the tender age of three and within months of taking to two wheels was competing in his first minicross races. In 1995, aged eight, he won the Balearic title and followed that up the following year by taking the Island’s minicross, trial, minimoto and junior motocross titles.

Lorenzo graduated to road racing and national competition in 1997 and it didn’t take him long to adjust, winning the Aprilia 50cc Cup in 1998. Despite officially being too young, a special dispensation in 2000 allowed him to compete in the Spanish 125cc series at the age of 13 and he made history the following year when competing in Europe and becoming the youngest ever winner of a European 125cc race.

The precocious teenager, once again showing that age was no limit to a quick rise up the ranks of motorbike racing, made his first foray onto the world stage with Derbi at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez in 2002, the third round of the season. He did not reach the legal age of 15 until Saturday and therefore missed the first day of practice but was unfazed this and impressed the paddock by qualifying for the race, cementing his position in the World Championship over the course of the season as he got to grips with the circuits. The young Mallorcan hit the big time the following season, winning his first 125cc Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro and then going on to win three more races the following season, finishing fourth in 2004 and taking his podium tally to nine before making the step up the quarter-litre class and switching to Honda machinery.

The precocious teenager, once again showing that age was no limit to a quick rise up the ranks of motorbike racing, made his first foray onto the world stage with Derbi at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez in 2002, the third round of the season. He did not reach the legal age of 15 until Saturday and therefore missed the first day of practice but was unfazed this and impressed the paddock by qualifying for the race, cementing his position in the World Championship over the course of the season as he got to grips with the circuits. The young Mallorcan hit the big time the following season, winning his first 125cc Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro and then going on to win three more races the following season, finishing fourth in 2004 and taking his podium tally to nine before making the step up the quarter-litre class and switching to Honda machinery.

He joined Yamaha in 2008 and exploded onto the MotoGP scene with an outstanding pole position at the opening round in Qatar, before finishing second in the race. A second pole position and another podium in round two proved it was no fluke, before he went on to take an incredible third pole and a deserved maiden win at the third race in Estoril. He returned to earth with a bump in China, when a crash in practice saw him fracture both ankles, although he battled on to finish fourth in the race before coming back with another podium next time around in France.

The middle part of the season was difficult for the young Spaniard as several more crashes left him with further injuries and battered confidence, but he never gave up and made it back to claim two more podiums. He finished the season in fourth position as rookie of the year, the most successful debutante since the start of the four-stroke era. The 2009 season witnessed Lorenzo take four wins, standing on the podium an additional nine times and only missing out once in all 17 rounds on a front-row qualification, a remarkable show of consistency. He was Rossi’s only championship challenger in the latter half of the season and once that chance was gone he focused on securing the number two spot, which he duly did in Valencia.

The 2010 season saw him take up where he left off in 2009, taking the fight to team-mate Rossi from the first race. It soon became clear that Lorenzo was the man to beat that season, the young Mallorcan went on to clock up an impressive nine race wins on his way to securing his first ever MotoGP World Championship title. In doing so he also broke the record for the number of points earned in a single season, accumulating 383 by the last race in Valencia.

For the 2011 MotoGP Championship the then reigning World Champion teamed with a new racing partner, 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Ben Spies. The Texan moved up from theTech3 Yamaha Team to join Yamaha’s Factory Racing outfit in the bid for glory. Lorenzo put in a spirited fight to defend his title, recording three race wins and a total of ten podium finishes during the season. A serious crash during round 16 at Phillip Island brought a premature end to the Mallorcan’s season, securing second in the final standings with 260 points.

The 2012 season proved to be Lorenzo’s greatest yet. Against arguably the toughest challengers of his career in protagonists Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa he excelled from the start, taking the victory at the opening round of the year under the floodlights at Qatar. He went on to achieve and incredible record, taking six race wins over the season and always finishing either in first or second place with the exception of two DNFs. Lorenzo claimed his fourth World title, his second in the premier class, at Phillip Island with one race remaining.

The 2014 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP line-up changes with Lorenzo reunited with old partner Valentino Rossi as they enter the second year of the 1000cc MotoGP era. An increasingly popular figure with the fans, Lorenzo’s nickname ‘X Fuera’ (depicted with a red cross on his helmet), is an allusion to his flamboyant outside overtaking style.

 

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