Jorge Lorenzo: “Worried about riders’ health, we must limit really scary bikes”

Jorge Lorenzo has called for “really scary” MotoGP bikes to be limited, to safeguard the health of the riders.
Fabio Quartararo, World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP race, Emilia-Romagna MotoGP 24 October
Fabio Quartararo, World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP race, Emilia…

The 2023 MotoGP season has been littered with crashes and injuries, with the new format of sprint races introducing an extra layer of chaos.

But three-time premier class champion Lorenzo also sees problems with the aerodynamics.

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“I like the sprint but I speak as a spectator,” he told GPOne. “I understand the riders, the risk doubles or triples.

“The bikes are strong with the aerodynamics. I am worried about the health of the riders. But as a spectator, I like it.

“We’re getting to a point where MotoGP bikes are really scary.

“They have 300hp and go over 370km/h. If we don’t [pause], in a few years they will hit 400km/h.

“I think we have to limit the power of these bikes in some way.

“I would limit the aerodynamics as much as possible, maybe I would eliminate it.”

Fellow legend Casey Stoner recently told The Race: “You’ve got to take the manufacturers’ perspective, but what they’re not doing right now is taking in the riders’ perspective.

“The show, the danger, the more accidents we’re seeing these days? It’s ridiculous.

“Winglets, gone. Ride height devices, gone. Anti-wheelie, gone. Traction control cut to a safety level and nothing more. Half this shit needs to go.”

‘Honda and Yamaha lacked a test rider’

Jorge Lorenzo (ITA), Yamaha Factory Racing Team, Yamaha M1, 2007 MotoGP World
Jorge Lorenzo (ITA), Yamaha Factory Racing Team, Yamaha M1, 2007 MotoGP…

Lorenzo retired from MotoGP in 2019 after an injury-ravaged year at Honda before briefly rejoining Yamaha, the team where he won all three of his championships, as a test rider.

That role was limited by the pandemic, then descended into a row with his replacement Cal Crutchlow.

“Honda and Yamaha didn’t have a really sensitive rider to develop a bike that was rideable for everyone,” Lorenzo said.

“At Honda, they listened to me at the time. I had been to Japan to do some work and modifications on the bike. But I had the misfortune to crash and hurt myself at Assen.

“Without that crash, I would have continued at Honda and with a better bike suited to my characteristics.

“The turning point was the crash at Assen, that changed my mentality.

“I began to appreciate other things in life. That fall took three or four years off my career.”

Lorenzo spent two seasons at Ducati, one of many big-name riders who failed to end the championship hoodoo that stretched back to 2007 until Francesco Bagnaia finally won last year.

“It’s not something you do overnight,” Lorenzo said about Ducati’s current dominance.

“You need to stay calm, to understand what to keep on the bike and what to change.

“Gigi Dall’Igna has done a great job since 2014. Slowly he made Ducati the best bike, but it was a long job.

“It’s the era of the European brands in MotoGP, not the Japanese. I don’t know how long this will last.”

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