PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia — Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up a season of domination Sunday, finishing second in the Grand Prix of Australia to claim his second MotoGP World Championship title, becoming Spain’s first two-time MotoGP titlist.
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo took the holeshot from the start line, but dropped to third initially behind championship rival Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. As the leading pack ran through turn four Pedrosa crashed out, leaving Stoner and Lorenzo to break away.
The championship leader delivered a textbook race of inch perfect laps, maintaining the gap to Cal Crutchlow chasing in third, eventually crossing the line in second to claim the 2012 MotoGP Rider’s title.
This puts Lorenzo on 350 points, 43 clear of Pedrosa going into the final round at Valencia. Lorenzo amassed an impressive six race wins and ten second-place finishes to secure the title. He now heads to his home race free from the pressure to win and happy to deliver one last race of the year in front of his home crowd.
“What a day! I’m very happy, it was easier than I expected because Dani made a mistake in a corner and crashed,” Lorenzo explained. “I wanted to keep with Casey but he was so strong. Today all I had to do was finish the race and I have become World Champion for the second time. It’s such a sweet feeling! I want to thank all the team, Yamaha, my family, my friends, sponsors and fans that support me. Today is an amazing moment. We’ve been very patient, very concentrated and finally the World title arrives.”
Hiroyuki Yanagi, president of Yamaha Motor Co., issued a statement congratulating Lorenzo on his achievement:
“I want to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Jorge Lorenzo for clinching the 2012 MotoGP Championship title at the Australian GP with one round still remaining in the season.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the fans, the sponsors and other people involved who have supported Jorge and the Team.
This championship title has value that goes above and beyond the great achievement of a second MotoGP title for Jorge Lorenzo. This was the first season under the new 1000cc regulation and, in that sense, made for a new and greater challenge for all of the riders and teams competing. I believe winning the title in such a new realm was made possible thanks to the combined strength of the riders, the machine and the team’s management.
“Let me say that I am very proud to have a rider like Jorge Lorenzo, who continues to adapt and grow steadily with such success, as a member of the Yamaha family. I look forward to his achievements in the 2013 season to come.”