Jorge Lorenzo, one of MotoGP’s most exciting racers, stopped in at the D-Store in San Francisco prior to the 2009 Laguna Seca motorcycle race. Thanks to his Dainese sponsors we had a chance to grab an exclusive interview with the young Yahama Factory MotoGP racer. Our mission was to get a better understanding of the man that is challenging the world’s best for the 2009 MotoGP Rider Championship. A cheerful man who rides with aggression and rides through his pain toward the ultimate gain.
UMC: You entered the MotoGP premier class with a bang last year immediately taking poles, podiums and making your distinctive mark. Having been the 250 GP champion in both 2006 and 2007, what did you find to be the biggest difference in moving up to the 800cc machine?
Jorge Lorenzo: Everything is bigger! But the most important thing is the power of each bike. You can not make any mistake…
UMC: You are the most successful Spanish rider of all time in the 250cc GP class, claiming one more victory than Dani Pedrosa and Sito Pons overall. Do ever feel any pressure from this huge achievement when you mount your current moto or is that a distant memory at this point in your career?
Jorge Lorenzo: You can’t just rely on what people say about you. I had two incredible years in 250, but in MotoGP you start over again. This is another world… the real World Championship. Casey Stoner won here without any title in other categories.
UMC: You earned your 50th podium on the same day that Valentino got his 100th win. Did his landmark moment overshadow your own personal success at all?
Jorge Lorenzo: For me that number is important, but obviously not as 100 victories. It’s just a milestone for me, but the most important for us now is to continue in this way… that’s the best way for the team.
UMC: For 2009 Michelin dropped out of MotoGP and Bridgestone become the sole tire provider. How would you say this has affected the racing overall?
Jorge Lorenzo: It’s been better for the show. This year almost all races have given emotions while last year’s were boring. I did not agree with the sole tire solution, as I believe in the competition between R&D of each brand. But Dorna’s decision has proven to be the right one as we can see from this year’s races.
UMC: What is your opinion of the elimination of the 250cc class for 2010?
Jorge Lorenzo: Moto2 is the future. New bikes on the market and less costs, that’s extremely important for all teams and sponsors.
UMC: Your last few laps with teammate Valentino Rossi in Barcelona offered some of the most exciting moments in the 2009 season so far. Are you good friends off the track or do you each go your own way at the end of the day?
Jorge Lorenzo: We have a lot of respect and this is most important in a team as competitive as ours.
UMC: Rossi has been very vocal about the lack of excitement in modern-day MotoGP due to the advent of traction control and the sophisticated electronics found on the machines. What is your take on the role these advances and electronics play in MotoGP?
Jorge Lorenzo: I would like a MotoGP without electronics at all. In this way we could see how different one rider is from each other. The real skills of a rider.
UMC: It’s simply amazing what American rider Ben Spies has been doing on the World Superbike circuit. Have you been following that series and if so, what do you think of his record so far?
Jorge Lorenzo: I follow Ben on magazines. I think he’s doing a very good season, although Haga has begun better than him. Now he has a clear opportunity to become World Champion.
UMC: You are the youngest rider in MotoGP to finish on the podium in his first three races taking the record from Dani Pedrosa by a single day. Are you and Dani bitter rivals as has been reported in the past or are you friendly with one another at this point?
Jorge Lorenzo: This year we have a respectful relation. I’m a polite guy and I don’t want a war out of the track. I think our problems are over.
UMC: How often do you get to be at home when you are on the road during the season? What do you do when you are at home?
Jorge Lorenzo: I spend almost half of the year at home, in Barcelona. No so bad! I love computers, playing videogames with my friends, reading books and practicing any kind of sport as soccer or tennis.
Jorge Lorenzo Information
Date of Birth: 04/05/1987
Place of Birth: Mallorca, Spain
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 55 kg
Marital Status: Single
Hobbies: Music, videogames, internet
Total Races: 111 (17 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Victories: 22 (1 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
Pole Positions: 30 (4 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
Podiums: 44 (6 x MotoGP, 29 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
Wins: 2 (250cc, 2006/2007)
First Grand Prix: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
D-Store location photos by: Jeff Murray
Alan Tecchio is a freelance writer based in the NY metro area who has interviewed 100s of celebrities. He is an avid motorcyclist and active Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider coach. He is also the lead singer of the rock band Autumn Hour who recently released the hard-hitting album entitled Dethroned.