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Thursday October 10, 2013 MYT 8:50:00 PM
Thursday October 10, 2013 MYT 8:52:12 PM
by lim teik huat
Jorge Lorenzo (left) at the pre-race press conference in Sepang on Oct 10, 2013. Lorenzo has slipped 39 points behind Marc Marquez with just four rounds left and a maximum of 100 points available. – AFP Photo
SEPANG: Reigning double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is not ready to let go of his world crown and has vowed to fight until the end in his quest to reel in rookie title leader Marc Marquez.
Lorenzo, who rides for Yamaha, has slipped 39 points behind his Honda rival and fellow Spaniard in second place with just four rounds and a maximum of 100 points available.
Three of those rounds will take place over the next three weekends, starting this Sunday at Sepang, a circuit where the 26-year-old Lorenzo has yet to claim a premier class win.
He finished second in 2012 and third in 2010 – his world title winning years.
“Now we start the big trip with three races in a row and face the last part of the championship, the crucial part. After the Aragon Grand Prix where we fought so hard, we now visit a special circuit.
“Sepang is a track everybody knows really well. I guess all the riders will be strong there because we made a couple of pre-season tests.
“Sepang is a long and technical circuit, with two great straights but also some nice corners,” recalled Lorenzo, who has won five races this season – only one fewer than Marquez.
His only fear is a repeat of the stormy weather conditions of last year.
Lorenzo was leading for the first nine laps of the Malaysian GP last year but fell behind Dani Pedrosa as the race progressed and eventually settled for second.
“The worst thing is it’s always stormy and you never know when it’s going to rain,” he said.
“I have some good memories there but we need to keep our focus now on the race and try to recover a little bit on Marquez.
“Now the championship is more difficult ... it’s almost impossible, but something special could happen with the race at 4 o’clock – there could be rain.
“We have to concentrate to try and win ... whether it is here, on Phillip Island or at Motegi, and react to anything special that happens.
“We want to fight until the end. Let’s see what happens.”
Lorenzo may be at a critical stage of his title defence but he was also in a playful mood if the official pre-race press conference was anything to go by.
The media wanted to get his reaction to Marquez’s penalty following the Aragon Grand Prix incident but Lorenzo kept the media guessing, hinting that his Honda rival should instead be awarded with extra championship points for his actions as he makes the sport more entertaining.
At the Aragon Grand Prix, with 18 laps to go, Marquez grazed the back of team-mate Pedrosa’s bike when he tried to overtake. This caused Pedrosa to lose control and slide down the track.
In earlier reports, Lorenzo had urged officials to be tough on Marquez, saying he himself learned a valuable lesson after being banned in 2005 for crashing into another rider.
“The mistake (by Marquez) was not as serious as others, but if you sum them up then I say that he is a very aggressive rider who puts himself and others at risk,” said Lorenzo previously.
Tags / Keywords:
motorsport, MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Sepang, Marc Marquez, Malaysian Grand Prix
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