MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Into the Lorenzo zone
It’s not easy finding out much about a rider in the 15-minute interview slots that are the norm in MotoGP now. Unless something interesting happens.
On one of the first occasions I interviewed Jorge Lorenzo, our brief time together was blighted by a malfunctioning automatic door. We were sat right by the door in the lounge area of Yamaha’s hospitality truck, with team staff coming and going as we chatted.
At first the door obediently swooshed open and shut like we were on the Starship Enterprise, but then it developed a fault, and each time it jammed Lorenzo became more infuriated, until I was certain I could see steam coming out of his ears.
And all this while we discussed his interest in finding inner peace through meditation, specifically through sophrology, which devotees use to improve concentration and motivation via mental and muscle relaxation.
As you will have gathered from the door incident and from the occasional tantrums he throws inside his helmet, Lorenzo has good reasons to have such interests. He is one of those riders who always simmers on the inside, like a volcano about to erupt. There have been plenty like that, including five-time 500 world champion Mick Doohan, who mastered the extraordinarily difficult trick of containing that energy until he could put it to better use aboard a motorcycle.
Doohan never meditated in the strict meaning of the word (he was as likely to take up meditation as he was vegetarianism) but he found his own way of achieving a degree of focus that allowed him to perform to 99.99 per cent of his ability each time he exited the pitlane. Very, very few sportsmen get close to that consistency of peak performance.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.