Jorge Lorenzo was left 'depressed' by the real possibility of retiring from MotoGP, during the difficult early rounds of this season.

After a strong end to his debut year at Ducati, Yamaha's triple MotoGP champion initially struggled with this year's GP18 and - prior to Mugello - had few desirable options on the table to extend his career.

"They say your value is from your last race – and my last races were terrible!" Lorenzo told BT Sport. "It was very tough mentally, because I was working and training more than ever but the results were not coming.

"When I saw the possibility of retirement in my head, I was getting depressed.

"Normally when I imagined my retirement, in some way I was feeling happy, a relief, because I will not feel the pressure or be injured any more. But instead, I was getting depressed.

"It was very close for retirement. It's true that I had another possibility, which was going into the satellite team with Yamaha. It was a good option, but not the option I wanted."

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Lorenzo had been seeking a challenge when he joined Ducati, feeling he was "not learning so much anymore" at Yamaha and having already achieved his childhood dream of becoming MotoGP champion.

"But the swap was more difficult than I expected! When I tried the bike I had a big shock. I needed to change completely my riding style. It was not easy mentally, but I kept going and finally in Mugello we got the splendid victory."

Not only did Lorenzo win for Ducati at Mugello, but he had also secured his MotoGP future in the form of a surprise factory Honda contract.

"I knew we were very, very close to victory [before Mugello]. But people didn’t believe, because I'd stayed in Ducati for a year and a half without a victory," Lorenzo added.

"I was leading at the beginning of the races, but finally we were missing something. And I knew what we were missing. But the team [Ducati] probably in that moment didn’t believe anymore in Jorge Lorenzo."

Coinciding with Lorenzo's breakthrough victory had been the arrival of a new fuel tank design, allowing the #99 to conserve energy under braking.

Lorenzo emphasised it was very much the final piece in the winning puzzle, rather than some kind of 'magical' transformation...

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