23 May 2016
MotoGP Italy: Lorenzo: I proved I've got stomach for a fight
'Today I can win with not the best pace and with not starting from the pole position, so it's another motive to shut up a little bit the people who criticise' - Jorge Lorenzo.
MotoGP World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo says the manner of his battling victory at Mugello proves he has the stomach for a fight.
The Movistar Yamaha rider locked horns with Marc Marquez on the final lap and narrowly came out on top, drafting past the Repsol Honda on the main straight to cross the line to seal victory by 0.019 seconds.
Lorenzo said: “People who don't like you will find any motive to criticise you, but I won many races starting from the back, having a bad start and recovering a lot of positions and winning finally in the last lap: I did it in 125 and in 250 and in my first years in MotoGP when I didn't start well.
“But obviously when you start well and you have a great first lap and second lap, why would you not take this strong point as a benefit? Today I can win with not the best pace and with not starting from the pole position, so it's another motive to shut up a little bit the people who criticise without remembering the history or statistics.”
Although he rates his win in the Italian MotoGP as one of his best, Lorenzo still feels his best premier class triumph was at Silverstone in 2013, when he defeated Marquez by 0.081 seconds.
“Your last victory fighting is always the best one because it's difficult to have memories in the past. I've been lucky to win races fighting and have exciting battles with a lot of riders in the past, for example I will never forget my first victory in Brazil in 2003 with this unbelievable last lap,” he said.
“And in MotoGP, my fight with Marc in Silverstone, but for me this one is quite close, but Silverstone is always my best in MotoGP.
“Finally we got a battle in the last laps, some journalists say this year we didn't see this battle and finally it's nice to have this in MotoGP again.”
Lorenzo admitted he was fortunate to have stayed upright after a near-miss on the straight when he touched Marquez, revealing that he apologised to the Honda rider after the race.
“At the end of the straight, normally in the braking you put the foot on the gearbox before closing the throttle to shift down the first gear when you close the throttle,” he said.
“Marc was very close and we touched a little bit and we've been lucky not to touch more and crash there because it would've been a disaster. I said to him 'sorry' because I change a little bit the way I put the foot on the gearbox and this could create a big problem.”
The reigning world champion says he blocked out the intimidating atmosphere at Valentino Rossi's home circuit and added that although he will ride for Ducati at Mugello in 2017, he still expects the circuit to be 'mostly yellow'.
“I don't care what the reaction of the people is; they have the theory of Rossi from last year and they buy this thing and we are like the enemies,” he said.
“I have similar reaction every year and I go here and just focus and make a good race every year. I hear that Ducati fans are very happy that I signed for them so I feel a lot of support from them, but I believe also next year the circuit will be mostly yellow, so I think it will keep the same treatment but we will see,” Lorenzo added.
“Obviously today I was very lucky to break in the warm-up and not in the race and Rossi for the opposite, was very unlucky.
“It's a weird situation because in just a few hours we broke two engines and we don't know the motives or what happened and Yamaha needs to investigate what is happening and if it's possible to sort in the future.
“I think today he has a good pace and I was told that on the TV it looks like he stayed quite comfortable after my wheels, so today he could stay there and maybe fight for the victory so he was unlucky.”
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