It may have taken him some time to dial himself in but Jorge Lorenzo has insisted he is fully focussed on securing the Triple Crown for Repsol Honda in the wake of his retirement announcement at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Valencia.

The Majorcan was front and centre of attention on Thursday as he confirmed he would be retiring from competition after 18 years of running in the grand prix paddock.

The widespread reaction left Lorenzo a little off the pace at the beginning of Friday morning’s FP1 and the 32-year old admitted “it was difficult to forget yesterday’s journey” and get down to brass tacks.

“I’m focussed on this race,” he said after posting the 16th fastest time of the day. “This morning it was difficult to forget yesterday’s journey because I received a lot of messages. It was difficult this morning to be focussed. Now I’m focussed on that, to finish the race.”

Did he feel relief riding again after making such a crucial announcement? “Well relief, I felt yesterday,” he said. “But today I needed to put the leathers on, the helmet and be completely focussed on what I was doing: riding a 300hp bike. If you are not then it can be dangerous.

“Overall I feel alive, I feel happy, I feel curious for my new life. We are here, we are competing in the last race of the year and we have an important goal to achieve, which is the Triple Crown on Sunday.

“I think today I rode not so bad knowing the circumstances, knowing the races before. I think I rode better and a little bit faster. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll make another step forward. Q2 is going to be difficult – not impossible, but difficult. But maybe it’s possible to make the top 15 and Sunday get the maximum points.”

Having already clinched the Rider’s and Manufacturer’s Championship, Marc Marquez has almost singlehandedly brought Repsol Honda within two points of the Team’s Championship, in which it trails Ducati Team.

Asked about whether he could see himself taking part in an event like the Suzuka 8 Hour, like ex-rival Casey Stoner, in the future, Lorenzo said a wildcard appearance would be more likely.

“I would like to have quite a big holiday. Never say never. At the moment I feel no but let’s see what the future brings. I think in that case I would be more close to a wildcard than a Suzuka 8 Hours.”

 

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