Press releases from Dorna and Yamaha on the occasion of Jorge Lorenzo securing his second MotoGP world championship:
Jorge Lorenzo – 2012 MotoGP™ World Champion
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made history in the AirAsia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island today, as he became the first Spanish rider to win the premier-class title more than once, after coming second and securing an insurmountable 43-point cushion with one race left.
Jorge Lorenzo’s journey to his two MotoGP™ premier class titles began at the age of three when he entered in minicross competitions in his native Mallorca, followed by junior motocross and a 50cc Copa Aprilia title in the Spanish Championship – an entry he was only granted with special permission. Lorenzo subsequently became the youngest ever rider to enter a World Championship race. Turning fifteen – the minimum age for Grand Prix participation back then - on the second day of practice for the 2002 Spanish race at Jerez, he made his debut on board a Derbi 125cc at a track where he would enjoy much success over the next few years.
In just his second season he took his first Grand Prix victory at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where his impressive “round the outside” overtaking manoeuvre on Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa won him the nickname “Por Fuera”. In 2004 he sealed a further three triumphs, before making the move up to the 250cc category a year later and taking four poles and six podiums in his maiden season. 2006 was to be the coming-of-age year for the Mallorcan, who switched to Aprilia machinery and immediately became the favourite for the World Championship. He justified the hype with an impressive eight victories, equalling the pole position record in the process with ten, and lifting the title in an emotional final race of the year at Valencia.
Another dominant year in 2007 saw Lorenzo retaining the quarter-litre title, with all nine of his victories coming from pole. At just twenty years old, he was a two-time 250cc World Champion and took on his biggest challenge to date by signing for the Yamaha factory team in MotoGP alongside Valentino Rossi. Lorenzo made an immediate impact in the premier class with a stunning first five races. He took pole on his debut - becoming the first man to do so since Max Biaggi ten years previously - and finished second in an astounding performance in Qatar. He followed up the feat with pole at the next two races, becoming the first rider to go ‘three from three’ in his rookie season and turning both top spots into podium finishes.
Unfortunately his debut MotoGP season in 2008 was also marred by a few big crashes and injuries, including two broken ankles in China that eventually forced the debutant out of action for his home race in Catalunya. However he regained his fitness and confidence in the latter part of the season, and picked up the pace to finish fourth overall and become Rookie of the Year. Lorenzo went from strength to strength in 2009, pushing his then colleague and fierce rival Rossi all the way for the title. Their battle at Catalunya was a season highlight, and Lorenzo picked up four wins as part of a 12-podium haul for the year, with five pole positions as well. Ultimately he was unable to wrest the title from Rossi’s grip, but his challenge was becoming ever stronger.
2010 saw Lorenzo’s star rise even further, and he was finally able to shake off the ‘inconsistent’ tag by scoring podium finishes in the first twelve races of the season, winning seven of them in the process. He took pole on six occasions that season, and qualified on the front row of the grid for every race except one. Still aged just 23, he become only the second World Champion from Spain in the premier class after Alex Crivillé. 2011 saw the Mallorcan face a new foe in the form of a rejuvenated Casey Stoner on board his Repsol Honda, which proved to be a near unbeatable combination. Yet despite a Yamaha that looked to be lacking in power, he fought his way to three wins and ten podiums, and managed to finish the season in second, despite missing the final three races due to a bad finger injury.
With the switch to 1000cc at the start of 2012 Lorenzo and his Yamaha made a terrific start by winning the opening round in Qatar after a hard fought battle with the Repsol Hondas. From that point on the Spaniard went on to take five further wins and nine second-places, only once failing to finish a race after being taken out by Álvaro Bautista in Assen. The race at Phillip Island proved a dramatic one as his main rival Dani Pedrosa crashed out early on, with Lorenzo needing only a three-point finish or more to clinch the title. He however didn’t hold back and climbed on the podium once more to take his second premier-class title.
Jorge Lorenzo facts:
- Lorenzo is the first Spanish rider to win the premier-class world title more than once.
- He has finished either first or second at every race that he has finished during 2012. The only occasion this year when he has failed to finish either first or second was when he was knocked off by Álvaro Bautista at the first corner of the Dutch TT.
- Throughout the 2012 season only two riders have finished in front of Lorenzo – Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
- He becomes just the third rider in the 64-year history of Grand Prix racing to win more than a single world title in both the intermediate-class and premier-class of Grand Prix racing. The only other riders to have achieved this are Mike Hailwood and Phil Read.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM MR. HIROYUKI YANAGI, PRESIDENT OF YAMAHA MOTOR CO., LTD.
"I want to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Jorge Lorenzo for clinching the 2012 MotoGP Championship title at the Australian GP with one round still remaining in the season.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the fans, the sponsors and other people involved who have supported Jorge and the Team.
This championship title has value that goes above and beyond the great achievement of a second MotoGP title for Jorge Lorenzo. This was the first season under the new 1000cc regulation and, in that sense, made for a new and greater challenge for all of the riders and teams competing. I believe winning the title in such a new realm was made possible thanks to the combined strength of the riders, the machine and the team’s management.
Let me say that I am very proud to have a rider like Jorge Lorenzo, who continues to adapt and grow steadily with such success, as a member of the Yamaha family. I look forward to his achievements in the 2013 season to come."
SPECIAL MESSAGES FROM MASAHIKO NAKAJIMA AND LIN JARVIS
Message from Masahiko Nakajima, General Manager Motorsport Development Division, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd
“I am very happy to be able to congratulate Jorge Lorenzo for taking his second premier class MotoGP World Championship title with Yamaha whilst still in Phillip Island and with one round remaining.
This would not have been possible without the hard work of the Team, YMC MotoGP Group and all Yamaha Motor Racing staff so I have to thank them all for their efforts.
All of us at Yamaha are proud to have witnessed his performance from the beginning of the season to now, always pushing at the front and fighting to this point to become 2012 World Champion.
This season’s results add to his already successful career with Yamaha, I believe we can look forward to more success in Valencia in two weeks time.”
Message from Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing
"I congratulate Jorge on his second MotoGP World Championship title with Yamaha. He has been faultless all season. To be able to achieve 1st or 2nd in every race he finished is an extraordinary performance of a dedicated perfectionist and a true champion.
To be able to produce these performances Jorge relies upon the support of a huge network of people. I would like to give my thanks and congratulations to the Yamaha Motor group, all Yamaha Factory Racing Team staff, our technical partners & suppliers, our sponsors, and also to Jorge’s personal staff. Without the efforts of all of these people this fantastic result would not have been possible.
Having won the championship with one race to spare we go to Valencia to try to crown this already excellent season with a race victory in front of his home fans and to enjoy a much deserved celebration all together."