Reigning double world champion Jorge Lorenzo was full of praise for MotoGP's new youngest race winner Marc Marquez, but knows from his own painful experience that early success can still mean plenty of hard times ahead.

Marquez's lack of MotoGP knowledge was less of a disadvantage at the brand new Circuit of the Americas and the 20-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands - setting the Austin pace from the start of a pre-season test.

The Moto2 champion continued that form during the inaugural grand prix event, taking his debut pole on the Saturday, then overcoming Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for victory in only his second MotoGP start. Yamaha's Lorenzo completed the podium in third.

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"Marc was the best today and I'm happy for him because he is the youngest rider in history to win," said Lorenzo, winner in Qatar and now equal with Marquez at the head of the 2013 standings.

"He found himself in the best condition here: Good bike, strong rider and on a track he likes. Everything together made him very strong and he deserves this victory."

Prior to Marquez, Lorenzo had been MotoGP's most recent rookie winner, claiming victory in the third round of the 2008 season.

"For me [in 2008] I was on pole for the first three races, but I had [arm pump] problems and I couldn't fight the same as in qualifying. Finally in Portugal I did it," said Lorenzo.

"Today Marquez was fastest so good for him! He has demonstrated that he is really strong, with a capacity to learn at a high level."

Following his own debut victory, which also put a then 20-year-old Lorenzo into the title lead, his rookie MotoGP campaign was sent spiralling downwards by a series of brutal accidents and injuries. Lorenzo didn't win again until the following year...

"When you are 20 years old and a rookie you see things in a different way," reflected Lorenzo. "You have a lot of anger to demonstrate and go fast. You are not afraid to crash. When you get a little older you start to be more conscious of the risk, and with more experience you calculate the risk more. But every rider and every person is different."

A perfect example of such risk calculation came in Sunday's race, which Lorenzo finished less than two-seconds from runner-up Pedrosa.

"Sometimes you feel more strong, sometimes less. In that situation it is better to have a cold head and finish in the best position you can," he explained. "Today I saw Dani was very close and probably with a lot of risk I could have fought with him in the last two corners for second place. But also I would have had more than a 50 per cent probability to crash. The [four] extra points were not enough for the risk."

With Marquez already a winner, and with Yamaha and Honda each dominating one of the opening races, the 2013 title fight has become even tougher to call.

"Very hard," said Lorenzo. "There are a lot of riders with a strong mentality and strong skills. But I feel strong, stronger mentally and physically good. I think if we can make some improvements on the bike we can feel the difference. So just finish in the best position until we get those improvements."

Meanwhile Pedrosa, winner of the most races last season but beaten by his new team-mate in both events this year, insisted he won't be changing his approach.

"No... It's a long championship, me and the team have good experience but also we have good riders in this class. It is going to be very interesting, but you can't really plan everything. Just go out and try the maximum."

Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa will go head-to-head for home Spanish Grand Prix honours in round three at Jerez, from May 3-5.