Jorge Lorenzo believes a natural rivalry between himself and Marc Marquez will help Repsol Honda “grow” and improve its MotoGP challenger throughout 2019.

Lorenzo is gearing up for his competitive debut with the factory Honda squad this year having impressed during his maiden tests with the squad at Valencia and Jerez last November.

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Speaking as an official Honda rider for the first time, following the conclusion of his Ducati contract at the end of 2018, Lorenzo is relishing the prospect of having the reigning MotoGP world champion as his new team-mate and expects both of them to be eager to learn from the other in order to gain any possible advantage.

While competitive team-mates have often caused problems within teams, which Lorenzo has faced at both Yamaha and Ducati during his time in MotoGP, he’s hopeful the dynamic at Honda will create a constructive situation for all parties.

“All riders have our strengths and our weaknesses. Marc also has them. I will try to learn from his strengths, and I guess he will try to learn from mine,” Lorenzo said. “We will push each other.

“I will want to beat him and he will want to beat me, and that always makes the team grow and helps provide new technical progress for the bike.”

With Repsol Honda preparing for its 2019 team launch in Madrid on January 23, Lorenzo is eager to enjoy his first public day as a Repsol Honda rider and wearing the iconic orange and white team colours.

“The presentation will be very special for me,” he said. “I think it is generating a lot of expectation because combined we have twelve World Championships and many victories.

“Above all, there is a lot of talent and a lot of speed within the most decorated team in history. The expectation and optimism is great and we are going to enjoy ourselves that day.”

Lorenzo returns to track action with Repsol Honda at the first Sepang pre-season test, February 1-3, where he is expected to be fully fit after a wrist injury hampered the end of his 2018 campaign.

New team-mate Marquez has already confirmed he won’t be “100% fit” in time for the first Sepang test having undergone shoulder surgery in early December to resolve his dislocation problem.

 

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