The Struggles, The Crises, The Successes: Lorenzo Reveals It All
Review by Mike Nicks
As we watch Jorge Lorenzo
struggling to cope with the aftermath of the huge crash he suffered in first practice at Shanghai for the Chinese MotoGP, it's as well to remember that this isn't the first time that the 20-year-old has faced - and overcome - a major crisis in his life.
In 2006, when he was still only 18, Lorenzo won the first two rounds of the 250cc world championship, but then suffered a collapse of confidence that provoked a series of crashes and a solitary fourth place in three successive GPs.
The problem: a battle for control of the boy's future between his father Chicho and Lorenzo's current manager and mentor, Dani Amatriaín. The storm of conflicting opinions and accusations erupting around Lorenzo's head shattered his morale and concentration, and threatened his entire career.
Eventually, Lorenzo sided with his manager and split acrimoniously with his father. But he immediately won again in the sixth round of the championship in Italy, and went on to take the first of his two successive 250cc world championships.
All this is dramatically related in Lorenzo's new biography, Jorge Lorenzo: Por Fuera desde Dentro
, which has just been published in Spain. Jorge, who will be 21 on Sunday, collaborated with Ernest Riveras, a journalist with the Spanish TV channel TVE.
Into the Latin heart of MotoGP
A bit pushy, wanting to publish your story when you're still only 20? But that's the style of Lorenzo, a boy who always wanted to be different from the rest.
And his desire to publish has been justified: he and Riveras have produced a terrific book that takes you right to the heart of the tensions and emotion within the big Latin teams that dominate MotoGP.
It's so easy for fans to dismiss a rider who's not getting results as crap, a crasher, an idiot, or any of the million-and-one epithets that are tossed around in pub discussions and internet chat rooms. But when you've read this book, and appreciated how hard it is for a rider to get himself into the right mental condition for winning - and how easy it is to lose that fragile balance - you might be a little slower to criticise.
Chicho Lorenzo identified his son's ability on two wheels when the boy was only tiny. He used tactics such as removing the front brake from the bike so that the little Jorge could only slow down by sliding the machine sideways on asphalt.