Jorge Lorenzo may have fallen short of his target to win MotoGP races on three different types of machine, but the Spaniard is proud to have been the only rider to win world championships against Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo defeated Rossi, Pedrosa and Stoner en route to the premier-class title in 2010 and 2012.

Stoner then retired and was replaced by Marquez, who suffered his only title defeat to date in 2015, when Lorenzo snatched the world championship from team-mate Rossi by five points.

"I have been the only one to win a MotoGP title against Pedrosa, Stoner, Márquez and Rossi," Lorenzo told AS.com. "Pedrosa did not win a title [in MotoGP]. Marquez and Stoner did not compete with each other. And Rossi has failed to beat Marquez [to a title]. I was the only one who has won against all four."

Lorenzo added that it was difficult to single out which rider had been his hardest opponent.

"Stoner was incredible and unbeatable in certain circumstances," he explained. "We would go out on Friday and, if he liked the circuit and the bike was ready, would be two seconds faster in the first three laps. He was also amazing in the wet, with spectacular talent.

"Pedrosa was very technical especially in 125 and 250, in MotoGP he did not win [a title] due to injuries and his stature.

"Rossi is very complete and very smart on the bike. With the Yamaha, he had a riding style similar to mine and we were very close. And the Honda-Marquez combination is very strong. Physically he has been the strongest rider of all and mentally he is not afraid of falling. The least fearful in history to fall."

Reigning six-time champion Marquez has the chance to tie with Rossi's title tally this season.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo - now working alongside Rossi in his new role as a Yamaha test rider - thinks the calendar chaos caused by the coronavirus will result in the Italian legend staying in MotoGP for 2021.

"Valentino is a bit like Maradona, he has a very unique character that makes him special… Valentino shows a bit of age, like everyone, but last year he almost won a race [even if] due to circumstances, he was not quite as fast as Quartararo or Viñales, but this can change at any time.

"Maybe the new tyres or the new bike will give him that 'plus' and he will win races again. And when Valentino wins races, he is a very dangerous opponent for the title."

The #99 added: "I think he will continue [in 2021] because we may not be racing this year. I haven't spoken to him since the Sepang test, but if there are no races this year I don't think he'll retire like that.

"I know he wants to see [his form] in the first races of the year and can't leave without having seen what was happening."

Another rider denied the chance to test himself against the 2020 MotoGP field is Lorenzo himself, who was due to make his Yamaha return as a wild-card at the now postponed Catalunya round.

"Montmeló's race has been cancelled or postponed. Hopefully postponed, but it could be cancelled if no races are held this year, which may be a possibility, although we all hope not. If races are held, it could be that Yamaha and I consider doing a wild-card in another race."

But anything more than the odd wild-card remains highly unlikely, although Lorenzo believes on paper he could still fight for another world title.

"I am at a stage of my life, at 32 years old, in which my physique would allow me to be very strong on a motorcycle and I would not have lost reflexes nor speed on a motorcycle, either a Yamaha or a Ducati.

"Maybe the Yamaha is a more natural bike for me, but with the Ducati I went very, very fast in the end. Until the fall at Aragon I was the fastest and the one who had won the most races in the last five.

"When the deal with Honda was announced, I believed in the dream team [alongside Marquez], but in the end it was a very bad season. You never know what can happen until you try a motorcycle.

"If the question is, if I see myself still able to fight for the World Championship at with 32 years old, I would say yes. If I want to do it? I would say no…. I am still 98% with no and 2% yes."

There is a danger that no-one will be fighting for a MotoGP title in 2020 unless the coronavirus pandemic can be controlled. MotoGP is currently aiming to salvage around ten of its planned 20 rounds, but Lorenzo admitted he is 'pessimistic'.

"I am pessimistic because, according to what the experts say, a vaccine would be the only thing that could completely change this story," he explained.

"I am one of those who thinks that it will not take 18 months to arrive because scientists from all countries are working on it as a top priority, but it could take six to twelve months, and that is a problem."

 

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