Jorge Lorenzo shows whoz the boss

By Praveen Kumar S Published on Jun 05, 2018 01:10 PM IST

Jorge Lorenzo became the first rider in MotoGP history to win for the factory Yamaha and Ducati teams in this week's Mugello Grand Prix. But that was not the big news. What followed after the race was.

Wind the time back a couple of years: It was 2016 and Jorge completed his term at Yamaha to don the red coloured race suit. Ducati shelled out one of the biggest pay cheques in history to get him on their side and repeat Casey Stoner's 2007 triumph, which is Ducati's only world championship title till date.

But things did not go the way they were planned. Jorge was trying his best to adapt to the bike but he couldn't. His team mate, Andrea Dovizioso, turned out to be the black horse who transformed into a world-class rider and took the title fight to Marc Marquez. That he failed to win the title is another thing.

Things turned sour when Dovi won the opening round of the 2018 season, making people criticise Lorenzo's potential. His Le Mans performance, where he finished sixth instead of finishing on the podium, made people speak more about his discerning future.

It must have been hard for the five-time world champion when his team did not offer an extended contract to him, a fact made sour when his team-mate was given another two-year term. Yet, Lorenzo stayed stiff faced, displaying no emotions.

THE TURNAROUND

Came Mugello and things changed; he was flying on his Ducati and came second. People overlooked that fact because of the polesitter, nine-time world champ Valentino Rossi. It is not their fault, for the 'Doctor' is now 39 years old and he smashed the track record to finish first in qualifying.

Race day came and people got stunned as the old Lorenzo was back, his consistency, something that he is famous for, came back and he won the race with a commendable six second lead.

Crossing the line, he showed so much emotion, dipping his head onto his bike and finally, after a year, his smile was back. While speaking to the media, Lorenzo had much to say and he said one thing that must have pained many a heart.

He said he will not continue with Ducati for the 2019 season. He said, "The parts I asked for came only in this race. Had they come at the start of the year, I would have won three-four races by now and I would say that I will continue with Ducati."

But even more important is what he said afterwards. Lorenzo answered his critics and said although over the years he has had an 'attitude' and been a hot head, he said he never left his sincerity. He said it hurt when people questioned that.

It might have taken a long time since Valencia 2016, when Lorenzo won last with Yamaha, but his resolve is still the same, even bigger than before, I can tell.

DUCATI'S MISTAKEĀ 

Ducati did wrong was they supported Dovizioso instead of Lorenzo. Yes, Dovi became a title contender but he did not win the title when it mattered. On the other hand, all five of Jorge's titles came by beating the best of the best. He took on Marquez, Valentino and Dani Pedrosa and won.

Had they given him the parts he needed, instead of asking him to work with a bike that was designed to suit Dovizioso, things would have been different. They missed a champion, the Italians and that is a mistake they might never be able to forget in the years to come, especially since Jorge has firmly stated that he will be back with a new team next year and that he is here to stay.