* DOTD = Data Of The Day *
All rider photos sourced from MotoGP.com
He was on Yamaha, moved to Ducati, moved to Honda, retired and is now back as a test rider for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP racing team! Jorge Lorenzo is no stranger to the circuit as he has claimed 5 World Champion titles, 3 of which were in the premier series.
The latest news around the legendary Spanish rider is that he will wildcard at this year’s Catalunya GP. What does this mean? We will once again see the dynamic duo (Lorenzo and Yamaha) back on the grid among some of the most talented riders in recent racing history. It goes without saying that fans across the world are eager to see how these two perform together in a race setting once again. The last 3 years have been quite the rollercoaster for Lorenzo but now that he is back in the arms of Yamaha, we may just see something click.
Today we are going to examine Jorge Lorenzo’s historical performance at Catalunya to identify what exactly sets him apart from his opponents. Since 2012, Lorenzo has either finished 1st, 4th or crashed at Catalunya and spoiler alert, he’s finished very strong a majority of the time. Let’s dive in!
The Catalunya Circuit is very unique in that it encompasses basically every type of circuit attribute a rider could encounter. This includes (and is not limited to) a long straightaway, long double-apex turns, tighter back-to-back technical corners and a very balanced ratio of left vs right corners. Because of this, each sector demands a different approach from riders and pushes them to prove the adaptability of their machines. Bikes that had previously been labeled hard handling power machines must be harnessed to show a more agile profile and vice versa.
Over the years, Lorenzo has excelled in the consistency department which is even more important on a circuit such at Catalunya. Being able to maintain a superior consistency across all sectors of such a diverse circuit gave Lorenzo an advantage as his opponents struggled to match his well-rounded riding style. We should note that Lorenzo was successful at Catalunya on both Yamaha and Ducati – two bikes with very different profiles that Lorenzo managed to morph into a “jack of all trades” machines.
When Lorenzo is able to match his consistency and adaptability with superior speed, that is when we see him prevail against all others. But remember, even without the top speed you can usually find him in the mix of the top 5 riders… This 2020 M1 is said to have improved their acceleration and top speed which fairs well for Lorenzo.
For now, we will continue to wait for the MotoGP riders to take to the circuit as the 2020 calendar has changed due to travel restrictions resulting from the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. First stop, Austin!