After witnessing Jorge Lorenzo hammer the opposition for the second Grand Prix in succession at Barcelona on Sunday, I will be honest to admit the thought did cross my mind – thank goodness Lorenzo is making the amazing switch to Repsol Honda next year because this could get boring. It’s not a thought that would have even entered my head after watching him stomp into the Ducati garage at Le Mans after finishing in sixth place just four weeks previously. What a difference a month can make in the frenzied tangled web of the MotoGP™ paddock.
Even in the world of MotoGP, it’s an amazing turn around but one fact to shine through the fog of intrigue is once five times World Champion Jorge Lorenzo gets the bit between the teeth, he is a very difficult man to beat. The Barcelona win may have not been from start to finish – which is the Mallorcan’s great forte – but he was only one lap short, taking the lead down into Turn 1 on the second lap and never to be headed again. That was the last the opposition saw of him as he romped to his 46th MotoGP win. In 24 of those victories, including his maiden Ducati win at Mugello two weeks previously, he has led every lap of the race, which is some record. Throw in his first Ducati pole after 25 attempts and the transformation is complete, although it probably took longer than both Ducati and Lorenzo could ever have imagined.
Just to thicken the plot between those two wins for Ducati, Lorenzo announced he was leaving the Italian factory at the end of his two-year contract to join Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda next season. The timing could not have been more bizarre but the thought of the two Spaniards on the Championship winning Honda next season must send a shiver down the spine of the opposition, but not of Team Boss Alberto Puig. His two riders may have won the MotoGP world title for the last six years but his no nonsense, say it as it is approach that turned promising youngsters into World Champions has prepared him for the pit lane conflicts that are bound to occur when two of the MotoGP™ greats chase the same title. Only one of them can win it but what a great problem to have. Surely Honda have pulled off the signing of the year, or even the decade? Although Casey Stoner’s arrival from Ducati in 2011 was not such a bad move.
Ducati must be confused although a lot better off financially. After Andrea Dovizioso’s brilliant victory at that first Grand Prix of the year in Qatar they, like many of us, thought Dovi could really challenge for the title this year. Whatever the situation with Lorenzo and his struggles to adjust to Ducati they had the potential World Champion on the other side of the garage, but three crashes in the last four races have wrecked his chances of bringing Ducati that first World title since Stoner way back in 2007.
One thing that is for certain MotoGP™ is never boring, on or off the track. Prepare for the next instalment.