VALENCIA, Spain – Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has announced his retirement from the sport following Sunday’s season finale in Spain.
“I always thought there are four significant days in the career of a rider,” Lorenzo said. “Your first race, your first win, your first championship and then the day you retire. Well, as you may imagine, I’m here to tell you this day has arrived for me. I want to announce this will be my last race in MotoGP, and that at the end of this race I will retire from professional racing.”
Lorenzo, 32, began his MotoGP career in 2008, earning one win and finishing fourth in the series standings. He won four races the following year and finished second in the MotoGP standings.
The Spanish rider scored his first MotoGP championship in 2010 on the strength of nine victories. He went on to earn two additional championships in 2012 and 2015 while with Yamaha before departing the team after the 2016 season to join Ducati.
In two seasons at Ducati, Lorenzo struggled. He failed to win in 2017 for Ducati, but returned to victory lane with three victories in 2018. He then announced he would join the Honda factory team in 2019 alongside reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.
His year with Honda has been a struggle, with multiple crashes and injuries hindering his performance. He noted those were primary reasons for his decision to retire.
“Unfortunately, injuries soon came to play an important role in my season, being unable to ride in normal physical conditions,” Lorenzo explained. “This, plus a bike that never felt natural to me, made my races very difficult. Anyway, I never lost the patience and I kept fighting, just thinking that was a simple matter of time and that after all things would get into the right place.
“But, as I started to see some light I had this bad crash in Montmelo test, and some weeks later that ugly one in Assen. At that point I had to admit, that when I stopped rolling into the gravel, the first thought that came into my mind was, ‘what the hell I’m doing here? Is this really worth it? I’m done with it.’ Some days later after reflecting a lot about my life and career, I decided to give it a try. I wanted to be sure I was not making an early decision.
“The truth is from that crash, the hill became too high for me, and even if I tried I couldn’t find the motivation and patience to be able to keep climbing it.”
Lorenzo said he still loves the sport, but it was simply time for him to step away and do something else with his time.
“You know, I love this sport, I love to ride, but above all things, I love to win,” Lorenzo said. “I understood that if I’m not able to fight for something big, to fight for the title or at least to fight for victories, I cannot find the motivation to keep going especially at this stage of my career.”
“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Jorge Lorenzo, he has been one of the strongest champions in the last decade that we have fought against and now worked with,” said Honda Racing Corp. President Yoshishige Nomura. “The chance to have Lorenzo in Repsol Honda Team colors was something truly unique and 2019 was full of promise. Unfortunately, he suffered a lot of bad luck with injuries before the season started and also during the season with his fall in Assen. As a result, he wasn’t able to recover the confidence he once had and we will sadly be ending our cooperation early as he retires from racing. We at Honda Racing Corporation would like to wish him all the best for the future.”