Factory Yamaha’s reigning champion arrived in The Netherlands trailing Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa by simply seven factors within the 2013 world championship standings.
But catastrophe struck for Lorenzo when he broke his left collarbone in a quick highside throughout a moist Thursday apply session.
Lorenzo flew again to Barcelona the place the harm was plated that night time, then sensationally returned to participate within the Saturday race.
Despite lacking qualifying, Lorenzo’s free apply time previous to the accident put him twelfth on the grid and the Spaniard then shocked by braving the ache for fifth place, a feat that noticed him labelled the ‘man of steel’.
“I remember Dani was leading the championship and I didn’t want to lose more points from him!” Lorenzo stated throughout his MotoGP Legend ceremony, with Pedrosa amongst these in attendance.
“The pain was outstanding on the Thursday and I didn’t want to wait until Monday for the operation. So we rented a private plane [to get to hospital in Barcelona] just to relieve the big pain I was feeling, not because I wanted to race!
“But I had the operation that night and after the operation I felt so good, much better than before, so I said ‘why not?’ I didn’t want to let Dani get away. I had to do something. ‘I’m going to try’.
“I finished fifth. It was a crazy thing. I was 25 years old. I did it. I don’t think it will be repeated! It was completely mad. Unfortunately, at the next race in Sachsenring I crashed again and bent the plate, but [Assen] will be remembered as one of the craziest things ever.”
Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa had been in the end overwhelmed to the 2013 title by a rookie referred to as Marc Marquez, additionally in attendance for Lorenzo’s Legend ceremony.
“I’m very proud to part of this amazing group of great Legends. I’m very lucky and grateful to have the life I’ve had, thanks to MotoGP,” stated Lorenzo, MotoGP world champion in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
“I wasn’t an easy person to deal with for the mechanics, engineers, some rivals. I had my own ideas and was very direct,” Lorenzo added. “But professionally and in terms of riding I think most of them agree I was very determined, especially the last ten years.
“I made very good starts. No mistakes. ‘Hammer, butter’. Sometimes I’d crash but not often because concentration was one of my best skills.”
On his resolution to retire from MotoGP on the finish of a punishing season at Repsol Honda, alongside Marquez, in 2019, Lorenzo stated:
“I think for riders that couldn’t achieve their dreams it’s harder, but when you’ve done 18 years, podiums, victories and world championships it’s easier to say goodbye and enjoy the other pleasures of life.
“Obviously, you miss the peak of winning a race or world championship. But life is a compromise and it’s a dangerous sport. I’m happy and proud and don’t have any bad flavour about my career.”
Jorge Lorenzo: ‘Motorcycle riders have all my respect’
“My three most important and emotional moments were: My first victory in Brazil in 2003 because after that I knew I could make a living from motorbike racing,” Lorenzo said.
“The second was my first world championship, in 2006 in 250. And the third, the first MotoGP world championship because it was the maximum that you can do.
“I’ve changed so much since retirement because now I can be much more relaxed, I don’t push people to the maximum so much. Before I was very concentrated, sometimes angry because I wanted more, more, more even when things were going good.”
Lorenzo has since returned to the paddock as a pundit for Spanish TV.
“I will also be in Mugello and five more races after that. I’m happy to use my experience to try to explain from the outside what my ex-rivals, and some riders I didn’t race with, are doing,” he said.
“I have my own views, that can be wrong or right, but I always try to respect them. Because motorcycle riders, in any championship, have all my respect.”