MotoGP

Lorenzo unsure on his MotoGP title fight in debut Honda year

Jorge Lorenzo remains uncertain if he'll be ready to compete for the 2019 MotoGP world title in his first year with Repsol Honda
Lorenzo unsure on his MotoGP title fight in debut Honda year

Jorge Lorenzo says he remains uncertain if he will be ready to compete for the 2019 MotoGP world championship during his maiden year with Repsol Honda.

The five-time world champion makes the headline switch from Ducati to the factory Honda squad this winter joining alongside defending champion Marc Marquez.

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After just two post-season tests at Valencia and Jerez, four days in total on the RC213V, Lorenzo says he’s eager to continue to adapt his riding style to suit his new bike.

While explaining how the Honda suits him better than Ducati earlier this week, Lorenzo told Red Bull he accepts given the limited pre-season testing available he’s unsure if he’ll have enough time to be 100% competitive in time for the 2019 MotoGP season opener in Qatar.

“I do not know if I will be ready to fight for the world title from the first season at Honda,” Lorenzo said with nine days of official pre-season testing ahead. “For sure, I am going to try to be the best prepared for the first race in Qatar [on March 10] but it is not that simple, and even more now we have just three or four tests before the beginning of the season.

“You have to fight against Marc Márquez, who is a very good rider and it will be the sixth or seventh year on the same bike. It is very complicated, and not only him, I have to fight with Andrea Dovizioso, who is with his seventh year in Ducati, and Valentino Rossi, who has more than ten years with Yamaha.

“So, there are a lot of riders with a lot of experience with their own bikes that will be very difficult to beat. I do not know if I will be ready.”

Despite his confession, Lorenzo is relishing his future as “a lucky boy” joining his third factory MotoGP squad in Repsol Honda. The Spanish rider made his premier class debut as two-time 250cc world champion in 2008 with the factory Yamaha squad, claiming three world titles with the Japanese manufacturer, before his two-year stint at Ducati which began in 2017.

“My life is a success overall and, in general, I am a lucky boy, a lucky person to be able to do what I love and to be able to have, until now, a very successful career with a lot of championships and a lot of victories,” he said.

“More than when I was a kid, I never expected to get so much as I do now. As I always say, after my first World Championship at MotoGP, everything that comes after is extra like a present.

“Obviously, I will try to get the maximum, and the maximum is to win but for sure it is going to be very complicated and for now I am not he favourite for the championship of course. But everything is possible in MotoGP.”

Lorenzo will attend the Repsol Honda team launch in Madrid on January 23 before returning to testing action with the first Sepang test, February 1-3, before the second Sepang test between February 6-8.

The final official MotoGP test is held at Qatar’s Losail circuit, February 23-25, in preparation for the 2019 opener at the same venue two weeks later.

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