Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo—who had a perfect weekend capped by a victory in Spain—had started to doubt himself and consequently stopped winning. So, prior to Jerez, the fourth round of the 2015 MotoGP championship, he decided to change his mentality and ride only by instinct. The result? His 55th GP victory. And he’s back in the title chase.
CW: Finally, you are back with a win. Was it a perfect weekend?
JL: If someone had told me on Thursday that I was going to dominate from FP1 to the end with a gap of five seconds, it would have been difficult to believe. Especially after the first three races, where I couldn’t even get a podium finish. Here, everything worked well from the FP1. This gave me a lot of confidence. Jerez is my place (he won five times across all classes). I didn’t expect to run in the 1:38s, but I could made a strong pace and hammer lap after lap, increasing the gap from Marc [Marquez] and Valentino [Rossi]. I said to myself: Take advantage of this opportunity so I claim the win that I was missing since Motegi 2014.
CW: What have you changed?
JL: It’s always a combination of many things. The level is so high so that if you miss one of these, it is impossible to fight for the win. I’ve had this potential since Qatar GP, but for one issue or the other, I couldn’t show it.
CW: How important was it to renew your contract with Yamaha?
JL: I’m really grateful to Yamaha because they showed trust in me at this difficult moment [he had two 4ths and a 5th in the first three races]. When things go well, it’s easy. But trust is much more appreciated when the results are not there. Not many riders can say they have raced their whole career with Yamaha. This is the team with the best atmosphere in the MotoGP paddock. It’s a big family. The bike has improved compared to last year and this also contributed to my decision. Signing with Yamaha for 2016 also helped to give me the serenity I needed. It’s not that in two days my life changed, but it helped. In addition, when I was riding, I was thinking too much on changing my style, on improving myself and so on. I lost some freshness. From the first practice on Friday, my mentality was to go for it and don‘t think too much. I just tried to ride according to my instinct. It worked well. This was the secret. I know how to ride, I just have to follow my instinct.
CW: What do you have to do to keep this momentum?
JL: Just listen to the bike and what it needs to go fast, without thinking too much. I need to approach the race each turn at a time. I will treat the GP in France with the same approach. If it’s not a perfect weekend like this one, I’ll just have to go for a second or a third place, but consistency is the key.
CW: In parc fermé and on the podium, were you overwhelmed by the adrenaline of the race?
JL: I’m 28 and I have been through some very difficult moments. I learned to appreciate more the best moments. Winning in Jerez is second only to claiming the world title. It was the accumulated rage mixed with all the joy.
CW: Is this the best present for your 28th birthday?
JL: I couldn’t have wished for a better present. I thought about jumping into the lake as I did in 2010. But I decided to avoid it, remembering that I risked too much as the leather would get heavier and heavier from the water and make it so I could not swim. I wanted to live one more day and share my joy with my mom. She comes rarely to races as she suffers too much. She is too worried and can’t even watch the race on TV!
CW: How does this result change the balance of power in the Yamaha garage?
JL: No one is dominating in the garage. The bikes are the same and only the results count. In the first three races, Valentino succeeded to take out the maximum in every single round. Here he couldn’t do the step that he usually does in the race; instead I was consistent throughout the whole weekend.
CW: You’re third in points. How do you see the championship?
JL: I don’t want to think about the championship. The secret is to be fast and consistent and take one turn, one lap and one race at a time.