After an prolonged drought, Movistar Yamaha has seized a win out of the 2016 MotoGP season.
And who better to do it than Jorge Lorenzo? Lorenzo’s race on the famed Japanese blue bike at Valencia was a bittersweet moment as #99 claimed a win at the final race of 2016. Valencia marks Lorenzo’s last race under the Yamaha banner, and a departure from his legacy and friendships at Yamaha.
— Jorge Lorenzo (@lorenzo99) November 13, 2016
Lorenzo showed a keen determination to push himself and his bike to the top of their collective limit. He set a new lap record during the Valencia qualifier, a blazing 1m29.401. With himself and his trusted steed obtaining the pole, what followed shortly after shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Lorenzo ripped away from the pack. This race was a clear example of what happens when a rider races for something more than just a podium finish. His 250th GP, his last ride with the Movistar Machine. After 99 podium finishes – of which 41 were 1st – it’s by no stretch of the imagination that Lorenzo wanted this race to be a proper sendoff to his time spent at Yamaha, and it was something special.
— Jorge Lorenzo (@lorenzo99) November 14, 2016
His riding reflected precisely that. His speed, precision, and aggressiveness reflected that of a man possessed. He held out ahead of the pack, emboldening the impression that he was riding in a very different race than his competition.
There has been much speculation as to why Lorenzo has decided to part from Yamaha and swap teams so late on in his career. The rumors are many and varied, but the man himself gives it to us straight:
“I think there are many reasons, but the biggest one has been my motivation… I felt I needed this new challenge to get the motivation to work as hard as I did till now. This is the main reason. I felt I needed this new challenge to get the motivation to work as hard as I did till now. This is the main reason.”
– Jorge Lorenzo
— Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) November 13, 2016
While we’ll never be privy to all of the details behind Lorenzo’s switch – at least not in this decade – there is certainly a lot to be excited about over the prospect of a returned, sharper, and more aggressive Lorenzo flying the Ducati banner for the 2017 season and beyond.