Recently-crowned 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has brushed off suggestions that by dint of his runaway success this season, he is in a prime position to make it back-to-back title glories in the premier class in 2011 – arguing that he 'doesn't like this 'favourite' thing' but would rather be 'the people's favourite'.
Lorenzo's 2010 campaign was indeed quite an extraordinary one, taking in no fewer than a staggering nine triumphs from 18 starts – an incredible 50 per cent hit rate – seven further podiums and no finish lower than fourth place. Even before legendary team-mate Valentino Rossi's leg-breaking accident at Mugello in early June, it was the Spaniard who was ahead in the standings.
To reinforce his outstanding superiority, there were moreover seven pole positions and four fastest laps. After that, the championship was effectively just a formality – and third place in Malaysia, three races from the end, was sufficient to put the riders' laurels beyond the reach of any of his rivals. It was, Jorge reflected, a dream year.
“I didn't expect to have such a wonderful season,” the FIAT Yamaha star told Crash.net Radio
. “It was almost perfect, because to finish with nine victories and being on the podium in nearly every race, you can't ask for anything more, for sure. Every rider in the world wants to be world champion in any category, but especially in MotoGP. It's the maximum you can achieve in the motorcycling world, and we did it.”
When asked to select highlights, Lorenzo confesses that it is not an easy task.
“There have been a lot for us this year, luckily!” the 23-year-old quipped. “I'm going to say maybe Jerez, which was a wonderful victory, Silverstone for me technically was my best race of the year and also Valencia, because it was the last race and in my home country, and I had to perform a big recovery.”
Having comfortably set the pace on the opening day of the post-season test around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo outside of the Spanish city, Lorenzo acknowledged that preparations for the defence of his title have begun well – but he is quick to dismiss any notions that he will enter next season in pole position to prevail once again.
“Testing has started quite well,” affirmed the former double 250cc World Champion. “We tried the new bike, and it seems to be working better. We need to work on the engine, because we need more power and also a little bit more traction, but the Yamaha is a winning bike and I'm really happy to be continuing with them for two more years.
“I don't like this 'favourite' thing, though. All the riders start on zero points before the first race, and if you want to keep winning and stay at the top, you need to work and work. If you stop working, everybody passes you. We need to keep working and aiming to be the people's favourite – that's what I'd like.”