Factory Yamaha's reigning champion arrived in The Netherlands trailing Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa by just seven points in the 2013 world championship standings.

But disaster struck for Lorenzo when he broke his left collarbone in a fast highside during a wet Thursday practice session.

Lorenzo flew back to Barcelona where the injury was plated that night, then sensationally returned to take part in the Saturday race.

Despite missing qualifying, Lorenzo’s free practice time prior to the accident put him twelfth on the grid and the Spaniard then stunned by braving the pain for fifth place, a feat that saw him labelled the ‘man of steel’.

“I remember Dani was leading the championship and I didn’t want to lose more points from him!” Lorenzo said during his MotoGP Legend ceremony, with Pedrosa among those in attendance.

“The pain was outstanding on the Thursday and I didn’t want to wait until Monday for the operation. So we rented a private plane [to get to hospital in Barcelona] just to relieve the big pain I was feeling, not because I wanted to race!

“But I had the operation that night and after the operation I felt so good, much better than before, so I said ‘why not?’ I didn’t want to let Dani get away. I had to do something. 'I’m going to try'.

“I finished fifth. It was a crazy thing. I was 25 years old. I did it. I don’t think it will be repeated! It was completely mad. Unfortunately, at the next race in Sachsenring I crashed again and bent the plate, but [Assen] will be remembered as one of the craziest things ever.”

Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa were ultimately beaten to the 2013 title by a rookie called Marc Marquez, also in attendance for Lorenzo’s Legend ceremony.

“I’m very proud to part of this amazing group of great Legends. I’m very lucky and grateful to have the life I’ve had, thanks to MotoGP,” said Lorenzo, MotoGP world champion in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

“I wasn’t an easy person to deal with for the mechanics, engineers, some rivals. I had my own ideas and was very direct,” Lorenzo added. “But professionally and in terms of riding I think most of them agree I was very determined, especially the last ten years.

“I made very good starts. No mistakes. 'Hammer, butter'. Sometimes I’d crash but not often because concentration was one of my best skills.”

On his decision to retire from MotoGP at the end of a punishing season at Repsol Honda, alongside Marquez, in 2019, Lorenzo said:

“I think for riders that couldn’t achieve their dreams it’s harder, but when you’ve done 18 years, podiums, victories and world championships it’s easier to say goodbye and enjoy the other pleasures of life.

“Obviously, you miss the peak of winning a race or world championship. But life is a compromise and it’s a dangerous sport. I’m happy and proud and don’t have any bad flavour about my career."

Jorge Lorenzo: 'Motorcycle riders have all my respect'

“My three most important and emotional moments were: My first victory in Brazil in 2003 because after that I knew I could make a living from motorbike racing," Lorenzo said.

"The second was my first world championship, in 2006 in 250. And the third, the first MotoGP world championship because it was the maximum that you can do.

“I’ve changed so much since retirement because now I can be much more relaxed, I don’t push people to the maximum so much. Before I was very concentrated, sometimes angry because I wanted more, more, more even when things were going good.”

Lorenzo has since returned to the paddock as a pundit for Spanish TV.

“I will also be in Mugello and five more races after that. I’m happy to use my experience to try to explain from the outside what my ex-rivals, and some riders I didn’t race with, are doing," he said.

“I have my own views, that can be wrong or right, but I always try to respect them. Because motorcycle riders, in any championship, have all my respect.”