The Yamaha rider won a MotoGP race at Phillip Island for the first time 12 months ago, after chief title rival Marc Marquez (Honda) was disqualified midway through a race shortened to 19 laps for safety reasons because of concerns over tyre wear.
Lorenzo’s premier-class career began the year after Casey Stoner started his record-breaking run at his home Grand Prix, the Australian winning six times in succession at Phillip Island before his retirement at the end of the 2012 season.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Lorenzo said last year’s Australian race, where regulations forced riders to pit for a second bike fitted with new tyres midway through the race, was unlike anything he had experienced in his career.
“It was unbelievable when we had this problem with the tyre and we knew we couldn’t finish the race with just one tyre,” he said.
“When we had to change the bikes in the pit lane from one slick tyre to another slick tyre, it’s never happened in history, so I thought this was very crazy. It was the only option and the best option, so I think they made a good decision.”
The Spaniard, who won in Australia in 2006 and 2007 in the 250cc class, said Stoner’s affinity with the seaside circuit made adding to that success close to impossible until last year.
“I won there in 2007 in my last year in 250s, probably my best race because I won by 20 seconds to the second rider,” he said.
“But I never won in MotoGP because Casey was so fast and so talented there, sliding around so quick and so constant that we couldn’t beat him. So finally I got my first victory in MotoGP in Phillip Island, and I was very glad.”
Lorenzo also spoke about falling just four points short of winning a third MotoGP title last year, his recent two-year contract extension with Yamaha, and the potential for Marquez to surpass the career achievements of nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.
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