Jorge Lorenzo, the misunderstood genius who won the best Valentino Rossi and the best Marc Márquez

Jorge Lorenzo, the misunderstood genius who won the best Valentino Rossi and the best Marc Márquez

Jorge Lorenzo's sports career only has one more Grand Prix left, and it will be rare that we can enjoy his talent. The last lurch in Lorenzo's career has ended his career. An unsuccessful signing by Honda that, probably, the Majorcan rider himself had to regret quite soon.

He retires in low hours, but a legendary rider is leaving, the only rider who has been able to stand up to the best Valentino Rossi and the best Marc Márquez. And he beat both of them. We will never know what would have happened to this stage of Lorenzo's career if Ducati had not rushed in announcing his departure from the team a year and a half ago.

An early start and brimming with aggressiveness

Jorge Lorenzo's career in the world championship has been one of the most impressive in history. He made his debut in 2002, in Jerez, waiting for the exact day he turned fifteen to unleash his talent. From the beginning, Lorenzo began a battle that has accompanied him throughout his career between speed and aggressiveness.

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The first Lorenzo was an extremely aggressive driver. He amazed the world with his first victory in Pacarepaguá when he was only 16 years old and at the controls of a Derby. There were three seasons in 125 cc in which he began to forge his first great rivals, with Héctor Barberá who at that time beat him in the general classification of the world championship.

With four victories in the intermediate category, Lorenzo moved up to 250 cc in 2005, a year that would serve as an apprenticeship for the Spaniard. With Honda, Lorenzo began his battles with Dani Pedrosa, but his aggressiveness still outweighed his talent. The turning point was the Motegi race, in which Lorenzo dropped Alex De Angelis and was penalized with a race without running.

The touch of attention was good for Lorenzo to focus his talent on the only thing that matters: winning. Already in Aprilia, the 2006 rider looked like another Jorge Lorenzo. Aggressive but contained, the Spaniard won the 250 cc championship but still stayed to repeat in 2007, this time sweeping, as his admired Max Biaggi had done in the past. It was MotoGP time.

Three-time MotoGP champion with Yamaha

Yamaha bet on Jorge Lorenzo without fear of the jealousy that his prima donna, Valentino Rossi, might have, who immediately took it upon himself to put up a wall so that the rookie did not learn more than necessary. Lorenzo was frightening, and after his staging he was even more so. Pole position in his first race, at Losail, and second place, ahead of Rossi, in the race.

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Jorge Lorenzo, el genio incomprendido que ganó al mejor Valentino Rossi y al mejor Marc Márquez

Third time was the charm, and in Estoril the young Lorenzo got his first MotoGP victory. There were only three races and Lorenzo already had three pole positions, three podiums and one victory. And, of course, he was the world leader. But the ghost of the falls appeared in Mugello. Lorenzo went down, and then repeated in the Montmeló free, missing the race.

This is how his rookie season was cut short, in which between costalazo and costalazo he saw how Rossi recovered the MotoGP crown. A year later 'Il Dottore' would get the ninth, and at the moment last, but with Lorenzo already behind him. In his second season, the Mallorcan was runner-up in the world, giving Rossi a scare and learning a lot from him.

All of that learning blossomed in 2010. Lorenzo found the hammer and used it to pummel Rossi early on. When the Italian broke his leg in Mugello it was already clear that no one was going to be able to take the title from Lorenzo, who ended up breaking even a points record that has remained in force until 2019. Lorenzo was the second Spanish champion of the queen category .

But he wasn't going to stop there. In 2011, with Valentino Rossi already out of Yamaha, Lorenzo had to give in against the push of Casey Stoner, but in 2012 he was able to repeat the title in a close battle with Dani Pedrosa. That year an era of MotoGP ended and another began: Marc Márquez arrived at the world championship, the challenge for Lorenzo was even more difficult.

Bad luck struck Lorenzo in Márquez's first season in the world championship. Despite the impressive debut of the Catalan, the Yamaha rider had everything quite under control until he was injured in Assen. That day he made one of the biggest epics of his career, returning to the circuit a day after undergoing surgery and finishing in fifth position. He knew that he would need the stitches.

But that overexertion forced him to skip Saschenring and run injured in Laguna Seca. Three almost lost races, the only ones together with France in which Lorenzo was left off the podium, which made him trail behind Márquez in the final part of the season. The Yamaha rider even won the last three races, but Márquez was regular and took the title by four points.

After a sweeping season by Márquez, in 2015 he would win the three-time championship with Yamaha. In one of the most controversial seasons in history, Lorenzo did not take the lead until the last race in Valencia while Rossi, again a teammate but now without a wall, tried to come back after his kick to Márquez in Sepang.

Lorenzo was a five-time world champion, three-time MotoGP champion, he had beaten Rossi and he had beaten Márquez. He brushed the sky with his fingers. The only way to continue proving things was to change motorcycles, so in 2016 he announced that he would embark on a new adventure with Ducati. The duo that was called to reply to Marc Márquez and Honda.

Many thought that Lorenzo was wrong, that his fate would be similar to that of Valentino Rossi when he signed for Ducati. But the truth is that the Balearic was right when it came to seeing that the Borgo Panigale project was going up, while the Yamaha project was stalling. The illusion was maximum in Lorenzo.

Injuries cut short his adventures with Ducati and Honda

But he cost her a lot. In the battle between speed and aggressiveness, the latter had completely disappeared because a third component entered the scene: fear. Lorenzo already knew what it was to get hurt, he had verified in his own experiences and others what can happen if you make a mistake in a motorcycle race.

Still Lorenzo ended up taming the Ducati. It took him a year and a half, but from Mugello the Spaniard was the fastest rider of those from Borgo Panigale. Too bad they had already announced Lorenzo's departure. From this official status, the Spanish driver was clearly superior to Andrea Dovizioso until the injuries reappeared to put an end to his career.

After three consecutive pole positions, Lorenzo crashed at Motorland and did it again in Thailand. He was only able to return, still limping, in Valencia. This 2019 he tried to start his project with Honda, but Jorge was no longer Lorenzo. Another injury in preseason made him start off with adaptation difficulties, and the crash in Assen ended up ruining everything.

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2019 is being the worst season of Lorenzo's career. Only 25 points, no top ten and an eleventh position as the best result of the year. Now only Valencia remains from a final season that cannot and should not be the memory that remains of a legendary champion, of the colossus that fought and won with Rossi and Márquez. From Jorge Lorenzo, the eternal 99 of world motorcycling.

The end of the generation that was going to retire Rossi

With the departure of Jorge Lorenzo, the early retirement of a generation that was called to retire Valentino Rossi is culminated, and that has ended up retiring almost completely before 'Il Dottore'. Casey Stoner, who is now 34 years old, retired at the age of 27 at the end of 2012. Last year Pedrosa continued his journey at 33, and now Lorenzo joins him at 32.

In the end it has been Marc Márquez who has retired a generation whose only survivor is Andrea Dovizioso. Only the Italian remains from the last fifth that lived the times of the 250 cc category, that he arrived at MotoGP with great enthusiasm and there he had to live with two living myths like Rossi and Márquez.

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