Jorge Lorenzo – 2010 Biography
22-year old Jorge Lorenzo joined the Fiat Yamaha Team in 2008 as double 250cc World Champion, having won the title for the past two years with Aprilia. Following his outstanding debut year, Lorenzo came of age in 2009, winning four races and pushing his teammate Valentino Rossi to the limit throughout a superb season. The Spaniard took the team’s first victory of the year at Yamaha’s home race in Japan and he went on to take further wins at Le Mans, Indianapolis and, for the second year in a row, Portugal. Lorenzo and his teammate Rossi produced some of the greatest racing in years as they fought wheel to wheel at race after race, with the last-lap battle in Barcelona standing out, amongst others.
Although Lorenzo lost out there by a few thousandths of a second, the performance he put up against his older and more experienced teammate was enough to convince even the most skeptical of onlookers that he is a champion of the future. As well as his four wins, Lorenzo stood on the podium an additional nine times and only missed 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.
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-liter class and switching to Honda machinery. Six podium finishes and four pole positions in his rookie 250cc season sealed fifth in the championship and, with a move to the Aprilia factory team, 2006 was widely expected to be his defining year.
Lorenzo indeed surpassed all expectations in 2006, dominating the class with eight wins and a record-equaling ten poles, clinching his first world title convincingly. 2007 saw more of the same and an incredible nine pole positions saw him win from every single one of them, claiming his second world title at the penultimate round in Sepang. He also became the most successful 250cc Spanish rider of all time in the process.
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.
Lorenzo will once again partner Valentino Rossi in the Yamaha Factory Team in 2010; there is no doubt that he will be back at the front and challenging for the title in.
A colorful character, Lorenzo has a fondness for exuberant post-race celebrations, which make him a popular figure with the fans. His nickname ‘X Fuera’, is an allusion to his flamboyant outside overtaking style.
Jorge Lorenzo Statistics
Born: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Marital Status: Single
Hobbies: Music, videogames, Internet
Jorge Lorenzo Career
2002: 125cc World Championship – 21st
2003: 125cc World Championship – 12th, Race wins 1
2004: 125cc World Championship – 4th, Race wins 3
2005: 250cc World Championship – 5th
2006: 250cc World Champion – Race wins 8
2007: 250cc World Champion – Race wins 9
2008: MotoGP World Championship – 4th, Race wins 1
2009: MotoGP World Championship – 2nd, Race wins 4