« SOY UN CAMPEON »
Time flies so fast it feels like it was Yesterday this one was fake playing the guitar in the gravels celebrating one of his 250cc wins. Yet here we are, years laters his final weekend is over and he is now an officially retired professional rider.
Of course we could all praise his incredible records in detail (5 world titles, 68 victories, 69 poles, more than 150 podiums and almost 300 races). Yet they’re just numbers and even though they don’t lie and make him one of the highest profile in the spanish motorcycling world and one of the most prolific rider in the history of MotoGP, they’re not the reason my heart was heavier last weekend than it was at some other times.
To understand why so many of us are painfully crying to see Lorenzo leave we first gotta explain you what it feels like to see him ride.
One of the defining characteristics of Jorge Lorenzo’s style is his precision in all circumstances. Like a surgeon with a scalpel in hand, he’s been going further and further, pushing in the never ending quest of improvement but always keeping in mind he had to be with in the limit of what’s humanely possible as going too far and crossing that line could end up being deadly. This precision in all time ended up being the now famous « hammer time » or as he calls it in spanish: « martillo ».
The second word that everybody uses to describe his riding style is of course : smooth. If Dani Pedrosa’s riding style was elegance in it’s purest form, Lorenzo’s goes even further than that. His quick and minimal changes of position on the bike makes it feel like he is one with the bike, his arms being the prolongation of the handlebars, his legs blending in with the bike’s fairing. Everything in between just moving along following the bike’s every movements. He is gracefully sliding on track like a skater on ice.
That one in a million style is what most of us will miss the most. I believe there’s nothing better than watch someone express his greatness and his art and to think we won’t ever be able to see Jorge’s metronomic self do his things on a two wheels beast breaks my heart. Many have called it boring to see him get the holeshot and running away until the chequered flag, but there was not a minute or a second when i wasn’t in awe seeing him ride the way only him does.
I remember being incredibly sad when Casey left having that feeling that he had never been appreciated enough. I also remember that the word « sad » could not even begin to describe what i was feeling when Nicky left, the very first of my boys. Last year, it was with an heavy nostalgic heart that i had to see Dani go away. Today, there’s sadness, and heartbreaks, and nostalgia, and a huge void that’s been open as i let go of the last rider i can call myself a fan of.
But there’s also proudness, happiness and a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve been following passionately this sport, missing as little action as possible, for 14 years. Knowing i’m 29 means MotoGP has basically been half my Life. 14 years just for a few incredibly talented Riders. I’ve been cheering, screaming, crying, (fangirling, YES) and acting like an overprotective mum when someone dared criticized one of my Boys.
Now that they’ve all left and that thanks to them i’ve got some of the best friend someone can ask for, i feel like i can hand over the baton to a new generation of passionate fans and, even though i’ll still keep up with the racing, move on to a new chapter.
I could speak about JL all day long but i’ll keep that only for my dearest Team 99. All i can say now is thank you for the memories Jorge. They won’t fade away.
You’re leaving as the true Campeon you’ve always been. And we know that, with the right tools, you can still beat the hell out of anyone on this grid.
You’re not just a great rider, nor just one of the best Champion of the motorcycle history. You’re one of it’s Living Legend.