Relations with Rossi better than ever, says Lorenzo

The Spaniard, whose relationship with the Italian great was once so bad that a wall divided their garage and they barely spoke to each other, leads on race wins after Rossi made the early season running.


With Honda’s reigning champion Marc Marquez 52 points behind and seven rounds remaining, the title is looking like a high stakes battle between the Yamaha pair for the first time since their icy 2009 season.

Lorenzo, a three-times British Grand Prix winner, played down the likelihood of fireworks ahead, however.

“For the moment, the relationship is better than ever,” he told reporters on a wet Wednesday in London. “Before it was not so good.

“When I arrived in MotoGP I was 20 years old, I was very ambitious and he was in the best period of his career and he was protecting a little bit his space and position on the team,” said the 28-year-old double world champion.

“I wanted to get close to him or beat him as soon as possible.

“So for this reason I think we got this little tension that now has disappeared quite a bit. For sure if in the future some situation happens that can create some friction between us, relations can change. But I don’t believe it will be as bad as in the past.”

Lorenzo said both had come to respect each other on and off the track and the balance of power was more balanced.

“To this point we did not have a big fight on the track or real situation where one of us thought that the other makes some dirty move in one corner for example,” he said.

Lorenzo said he was also keeping an eye on Marquez.

“I think Marquez is a contender for the world title,” he said. “He is able to win a lot of races when he is strong, when the bike is competitive and he is very fast like he demonstrated last year. So you have to keep an eye on him even if we have more than 50 points advantage.

“Obviously Valentino and myself have a great opportunity to win the world title for Yamaha and it’s difficult that both of us make a big mistakes, or a lot of mistakes, in the next rounds. But it’s possible.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)