On the eve of his second home grand prix of the season at Catalunya this weekend, Jorge Lorenzo joked about his radically improved relations with fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.
Bitter opponents during 125 and 250cc racing, the pair began to re-assess their rivalry after the King of Spain forced them to shake hands on the MotoGP podium at Jerez 2008.
A change of management for Lorenzo also helped smooth relations and the Spaniards clearly have much more respect for each other both on and off track.
Asked about the change during the pre-event press conference in Catalunya on Thursday (pictured), Lorenzo joked:
“In 2003 we were like enemies, in 2005 we were more enemies, in 2008 even more enemies. Now we can hug [after the Qatar race] and maybe in two or three years we can get married!”
After he had stopped laughing, Pedrosa - sitting next to Lorenzo - added: “I think it's a matter of before we were kids and were 'possessed' about winning. Now still, but you are aware of other things. You get more mature and that probably made the change.
“It was nothing 'obliged'. So that's a good base. You never know in the future, but we have better relations now. That's great - but we still race against each other like before.”
Lorenzo and Pedrosa, currently first and third in the world championship, are both former Catalan MotoGP winners.