MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo feared paralysis if he’d have continued racing in MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo reveals the extent of his concerns about his personal safety and fitness after a series of crashes adapting while adapting to the Honda RC213V

Jorge Lorenzo has revealed his concerns over causing serious harm to himself in an accident while adapting to the Honda RC213V were a major factor in his decision to hang up his helmet and retire from MotoGP.

The triple MotoGP World Champion called time on his MotoGP racing career at the end of the 2019 season, Lorenzo announcing his decision on the eve of the Valencia finale despite having a year left on his HRC contract.

Lorenzo suffered a troublesome back injury in an accident at Assen, which in turn came just two weeks after a crash that eliminated three of his rivals during the Catalunya MotoGP, plus a high-speed accident at the same circuit in post-event testing.

It was this increasing lack of confidence on a bike he was already struggling to adapt to that contributed to his surprise call to exit the sport altogether.

Indeed, Lorenzo has already made reference to the toll the crashes were taking on his body during his press conference, asking ‘OK, is this really worth it?’, but expanded on it during an interview with BT Sport in which we revealed his worry over paralysing himself played on his mind.

“The injuries accelerated my decision to retire. Without them, I would have stayed to try to be competitive with Honda. When we started, I had 5 serious injuries, and the last time I hit my head I couldn't remember anything.

“They were a series of combinations: the bike did not match my style, there was little motivation and also lack of patience to wait another year at my age, already at 32. 

“Back injuries are also serious, they are not like in my hand or on one foot. You can even be paralysed. I felt I had to be more cautious, I didn't want to fall anymore, "says Lorenzo.

"After the fall in Barcelona, ​​we examined the images on the computer and, from that moment, I began to be afraid of falling and hurting myself.

“Shortly after that of Assen happened. Then I asked what I was doing here, then I thought about giving myself another chance, but the truth is that I could no longer find the reasons to continue.”

Jorge Lorenzo torn between Yamaha and Ducati for 2020?

Despite walking away from the race grid, there is increasing speculation that Lorenzo will still feature in the MotoGP paddock in 2020.

The man himself said he ‘will be back’ but wouldn’t be drawn on the finer details, which could range from something as simple as a TV punditry role or joining a manufacturer as the official test rider.

Rumours had initially placed Lorenzo back at Yamaha – with whom he won his three MotoGP world titles – but talk in Italy suggests Ducati may also be looking for another rider to join Michele Pirro in development.

Though the form was belated, Lorenzo came good on the Ducati shortly after he’d signed a deal with Honda for 2019, winning three races. Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna has since expressed his regret at not fighting harder to keep the Spaniard in the team.

Either way, the turn of the new year means Lorenzo is officially a free agent now, so expect news soon…

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