Newly crowned MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo says he was better than title rival and team-mate Valentino Rossi in every department as he clinched his third premier class crown this season.
The Movistar Yamaha rider won the final race at Valencia in Spain for his fifth world title success, leading from start to finish despite coming under pressure from Repsol Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to secure the championship by five points.
Lorenzo has brushed off claims that his title victory was diminished by the controversy surrounding the animosity between Rossi and Marquez, with the Italian blaming the 22-year-old for helping guarantee Lorenzo the world crown by acting as his 'bodyguard' in the season finale, pointing to Marquez's failure to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre as proof of his conspiracy theory.
However, 28-year-old Lorenzo is adamant his success has not been tainted by the unsavoury events of this season and says the statistics of the championship proves he was the superior rider and the rightful champion.
“I think the world title was not only deserved to the King of Spain, but I think clearly I deserved this world title because if you see the statistics compared to our rivals, we beat him in everything: in victories, in pole positions, in fast laps, in laps leading the race, leading the practice – in everything,” said Lorenzo.
“Just in the podiums they beat us and also in the circumstances where some circuits it rains and when I could finish first or second, it rains and I could not get the best result.
“The beginning of my season was bad and this avoided me arriving to Valencia with probably 20, 30 or even 40 points ahead,” Lorenzo added.
“It is clear, everybody who knows our bikes, who saw me on the track and on the television who is not clearly supporting one rider can see these things.
“But for different circumstances we arrive seven points behind Valentino and with high pressure I demonstrate that I can deal [with it] to get the best of me, like I did yesterday [in qualifying] and today with the two Hondas that were very fast, especially at the end of the race.”
Lorenzo told the Movistar MotoGP TV channel shortly after Sunday's race that Marquez and Pedrosa's Spanish nationality had 'helped' him during the race, saying: “They knew what I had in play. The fact they are Spaniards like me helped me. That helped me because for sure in another kind of race they would have tried to overtake, which they didn't this time.
“If Valentino had been in my position and with Italians behind they would have done exactly the same. The title had to be for Spain.”
Asked to explain his comments in the post-race press conference, the Majorcan backpedalled somewhat, implying that he made the claims without fully understanding how the circumstances of the race had panned out for Marquez and Pedrosa.
“I could stay strong and finish winning the race, so it is true that I say that at the beginning of the interviews [intimating that Marquez and Pedrosa had helped him win by not passing him] but I couldn't see the race from outside, just knowing my difficult[y] on the bike to keep my rear tyre, especially on the right, and going into '32.0, '32.2 that I didn't expect to see,” Lorenzo said.
“I could get this conclusion [that Marquez and Pedrosa were holding back], but to be honest Dani and Marc explain very well; everybody see the race from the outside so I cannot have a clear opinion of that and I just have to trust what is said.”
Lorenzo also highlighted the gap of almost 20 seconds between the top three and Rossi in fourth place, suggesting his team-mate's final position was the best the 36-year-old could have hoped for regardless of whether he started the race from the back of the grid or not.
“You can see the classification and Valentino didn't have anything to lose, just to push at the limit to risk, but he finished 20 seconds behind us,” he said.
“With my bike it was not easy to stay in this pace all the race, but I did so and I think my speed and my determination demonstrates that we deserve the championship, so I hope everyone respects the final result of the championship.”