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.
“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...