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Is Jorge Lorenzo Still The Best Rider In MotoGP?

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As Yamaha reveals its new livery for the 2014 MotoGP campaign (not too exciting), rumors swirl that Ducati is already maneuvering to sign Jorge Lorenzo at the end of the year for a King’s ransom (peanuts for the Volkswagen Group). Seriously … silly season already.

But how good is Jorge? Marc Marquez stole the show and the title last year, but what Lorenzo did was arguably more impressive on a lesser machine (the Honda still rules). Multiple collarbone breaks and surgeries mid-season couldn’t stop Lorenzo from winning more races than Marquez (8 to 6). His fighting spirit and resolve are unmatched. Still only 26, Lorenzo already has 4 world titles (including 2 MotoGP crowns), yet he might not have reached his peak. His future battles with Marquez promise to be epic. By the way, Honda wants Lorenzo, as well. Can you imagine a team with both Marquez and Lorenzo? Could happen in 2015.

56 Comments

  1. Lewis says:

    Lorenzo is a very talented rider, nobody can argue with that, however this was Marquez’s first season, he is 20 years old, think what you were doing at 20 years old, he has a very intelligent and mature head on his shoulders.
    People argue he crashed a lot more than Lorenzo and I agree he was extremely lucky to escape without serious injury, but once again, it was his first season, he was still learning the lines and braking points on a GP bike, come race day he had it all worked out and was the most consistent rider in the championship up until he thought he had it in the bag, if I remember correctly he was 43 points in front before the calamity that happened at Philip Island. I never really liked Lorenzo up until this season, but he is a warrior and deserves every bit of credit he gets, lets hope we have a cracking season ahead…

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  2. Jdilpkle says:

    We can speculate until a Ducati wins, but no doubt, if MM and JL both stay healthy – it should be a great season. Hoo-Doggie!!

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  3. John says:

    I wonder if all you guys who are saying that Marquez only won because of the superiority of the Honda were saying the same thing about Stoner when he won on the Ducati (that we all know now was actually quite inferior)? If it’s really all just about the bike shouldn’t Pedrosa have finished 2nd?

    Give Lorenzo and Marquez identical bikes on a track neither has seen before and I bet Marquez wins more than 50% of the time.

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    • Dave says:

      Marquez won because of Lorenzo’s injuries, not because of his supposedly superior bike and he only won by 4 points in spite of that. Jorge still won two more races in 2013 than Marquez did.

      Still want to bet? ;-)

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      • John says:

        Fair point, but one could that the reason Lorenzo won 2 more races are the fiasco at Phillip Island and the fact Marquez was riding for points rather than wins at Motegi and Valencia.

        Marquez dominated at the COTA and that was the only new and therefore “neutral” track.

        I’d still be happy to bet but am guessing our chances at getting Lorenzo and Marquez in a head to head battle on a pair of Groms at the local go cart track are pretty slim…

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        • Dave says:

          Re: “guessing our chances at getting Lorenzo and Marquez in a head to head battle on a pair of Groms at the local go cart track are pretty slim… ”

          There is some pretty impressive video of Marquez getting sideways at a dirt-oval on a prepped CRF450, maybe something like that would be possible in the future.

          These two are the premier riders. Their bikes will be very equal even if other Hondas and Yamahas don’t match up as well. For a few years, it may boil down to who can keep from crashing and being hurt deeper into the season. As much as we hate seeing injuries end a battle, that’s going to be the way it goes if they remain close.

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    • mickey says:

      Pedrosa might have finished second or even won had he not broken his collarbone missing a race, and being knocked out of another race when Marquez clipped his bike breaking his electronics cable. Fate is a funny thing. Marquez, Lorenzo or Pedrosa could have been champion if events had gone one way or the other. This season fate looked most favorably on Marquez.

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  4. Ricardo says:

    Lorenzo has much more experience than Marquez, and he will be more prepared this year now that he knows Marquez better, and vice versa with MArquez but I think Lorenzo still has the edge by bieng smoother on the bike and more intelligent…

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “he will be more prepared this year now that he knows Marquez better”

      yeah, I don’t think there’s any threat of Jay allowing himself to be OWNED yet again, on the last lap, in the last corner (ie. the one named after him), on the day he celebrates his birthday. :)

      last year it was a saturday, but we race on May 4th in 2014. stakes is high.

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  5. ROXX says:

    The answer to the question is “Yes”.

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  6. Tim says:

    I do believe Lorenzo is the best rider currently. He’s also visually the most satisfying to watch. He just has a certain smoothness to his riding that the other guys don’t have. As for the bike argument, the Hondas are consistently faster, The Yamaha appears to be at least as good handling and possibly better in that respect, but the Yamaha handling may be just a subjective observation based on how smooth Lorenzo is on the machine. I do think he would be even more successful on the Honda though.

    If he goes to Ducati he needs to have his head examined. He would probably have a few podium finishes, maybe a rare win, but he would not win consistently on those bikes.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “If he goes to Ducati he needs to have his head examined.”

      no worries, none of that’s going to happen. it’s just a Spanish radio station gag to show how smart they are and how gullible and easily trolled the rest of the world is when it comes to this stuff. A MotoGP IQ test if you will. yeah, both the current and former Worl’ Champeens are Spanish in a series owned by Spaniards. ok Peninsula, we get it.

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    • Butch says:

      Re: “He’s (Lorenzo) also visually the most satisfying to watch.”

      Different strokes for different folks right here. I much prefer the style of Marquez, Stoner and Hayden. Speaking of backing it in, I hope some of you were fortunate enough to see Brad Baker spank the MotoGP riders at the Superprestigio invitational flat track races. Good stuff.

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      • Silver says:

        Agreed, I think he’s actually the least exciting to watch. He’s too smooth!

        He is currently the best rider but not for long. Marquez was almost as good in his rookie season.

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      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Marquez gave Baker a surprising (to me) run for his money. Had there not been contact between the two putting Marquez on the ground, I am not so sure Baker would have taken that race.

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      • oregonlocal says:

        You folks forget that Lorenzo can “back it in” with the best of them. He simply doesn’t ride that way most of the time because it is inefficient. After all, he purposely banged into Marquez twice this year while racing and ran him completely off the track one of those times!

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  7. endoman38 says:

    Put Stoner on that Yamaha (or any brand) and see what happens.

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  8. Butch says:

    This whole Yamaha as the lesser machine gets old. Lesser for who? The M1 has evolved specifically around Jorge’s riding style. There’s no guarantee if he was on a Honda, he’d be any faster than he is on his M1. Marquez and Stoner were both successful on the Honda as it obviously responds well to a more aggressive back-it-in style…not something we see with Jorge. The Yamaha and Honda factory machines are both top notch and suit their top riders. Jorge lost because of some bad luck with injuries, not because of a lesser machine. Marquez won because of better luck and he’s a hell of a rider, not because of a superior machine. Both of them deserved the title, but there can be only one.

    I hope everyone stays healthy this season and may the best team win. It should be exciting to watch.

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    • MGNorge says:

      Not trying to argue the point but I think for most viewers seeing the Honda freight train with two or three of their riders rounding the track together at the front of the pack does say something. When often the lone Yamaha at the front is under Jorge it points to him being a superior rider on that bike. I think it can be said that all these riders have stratospheric skills compared to mere mortals. There have been some very talented riders Yamaha mounted and they haven’t been at the front of the pack as often as Jorge. Am I missing something, quite possibly, but the Hondas have stood out as usually being at the front.

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      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Am I missing something”

        nope, your vision is 20/20. Yamaha practices a Sith-like “Rule of 2″ team structure. one rider is the embodiment of power, the other is simply there to crave it.

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    • Dave says:

      “This whole Yamaha as the lesser machine gets old.”

      Indeed. Lorenzo literally toyed with Pedrosa and Marquez in the last round. He completely dominated both of them. That cannot be done on inferior equipment. Nobody is *that* good.

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      • MGNorge says:

        Perhaps the Yamaha boys have been able to dial in his bike to suit his needs better than they’ve been able to do with their other riders? Maybe Jorge is able to communicate more effectively with his mechanics as to what he wants? The fact that we saw as many Hondas throughout the year up front, often battling just Jorge on the Yamaha, begs the question, is it man or machine or a fine tuned harmony of both. I do think Jorge’s that good

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        • Dave says:

          It’s more likely rider quality. We saw exactly two Hondas battle with Jorge, they were both faster riders than Rossi, who almost always finished 4th. Bautista was often faster than Crutchlow, keeping the Tech 3 Yamaha’s in their familiar positions.

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      • Mike says:

        Not sure what you mean by “toyed”. Marquez knew he had more to lose on the last race so he played it safe. Marquez let Lorenzo win the last race because he didn’t need to win, only finish 3rd or 4th.

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        • Dave says:

          “Not sure what you mean by “toyed”.”

          I mean toyed. He allowed Pedrosa to pass a few times with full confidence he’d be able to pass him back (all this to slow the front of the race). Marquez got into the lead with the opportunity to leave the whole mess behind. Lorenzo ran him down with ease.

          I’ve been watching motorcycle racing for 30 years. I have never seen a rider so confidently taunt his competition, ever.

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  9. Gutterslob says:

    Marquez will get better with maturity, no doubt, but at this point in time, Lorenzo is still, in my mind, the best rider in MotoGP.

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  10. k-kid says:

    I’m no fan of Lorenzo, but he is the most consistent top rider in the paddock; Hayden and Dovi place 8th-10th every race…so they would be the most consistent mid packers. Anyways, he’s the smoothest rider and gets the most out the kit he has. Marq takes a lot of risks and rides beyond his limit, similar to but not as wild as Simoncelli, just ask Dani and a few other riders he’s rubbed fairings with. Marq makes for an interesting race, you never know if hes going to push a rider out or ride the rail to pole position, but right now hes not the most elite rider. Look at how close the final points were even with Lorenzo and Dani being taken out by injuries and missing races.

    You’d never see it; but put the top 10 guys on the same CRT, and see how they all finish after 5 races.

    There are only two reasons someone would jump from the Yamaha or Honda; 1 is the paycheck, and 2 is the complete and utter delusion that they can influence the rigid Ducati factory and make the bike competitive.
    Technically there’s a 3rd, Rossi attempting titles with 3 manufacturers…

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  11. Ductec says:

    No doubt Lorenzo is a great rider, but as Marquez continues to mature he will be one of the greatest of all time. People seem to discount his consistency, he was on the podium in every race he finished, no reason to think he couldn’t have been on every one. People are always critical of Champions who win championships by being consistent (e.g. Nicky Hayden). And he did this while not being able to breath through his nose at 100%.

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  12. Wendy says:

    The Ducati ploy is just that, a ploy. ANyone who has seen super talented riders try to win on the Slab of Bologna realises that it is only money. Racers race to win, and these guys are so competitive it is psychotic. George the best rider, at this moment. Marc will only get better, though.

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  13. tonifumi says:

    NO.

    Marquez is the fastest guy on a bike. Stoner on a good day would find it hard to beat him.

    But the 2013 season has given me much more respect for Jorge. The way he fought back into contention and the way he totally dominated that last race was impressive.

    Rossi,Pedrosa,Crutchlow on down just make up the numbers now.

    Bring on 2014.

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  14. proheli says:

    I think Jorge is a bit better than Marc still. MM had the better bike, and he really should have been penalized some points for taking out Dani in that one race. So even with a lesser bike Jorge still almost won the championship.

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  15. Norm G. says:

    Norm G’s new online casino is now live to the web and taking bets on whose factory kit runs out of gas first when the RED MIST descends…

    Marcus, Jay, Ross, or Dan…?

    5 will get you 10. 20 will get you 100.

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  16. Norm G. says:

    re: “Is Jorge Lorenzo Still The Best Rider In MotoGP?”

    yes, now that Yamaha has raided executive pensions to give him a zeroshift gearbox.

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  17. Cage free says:

    J Lo on a Ducati? I doubt it, not unless he’s foolish or his ego and the mega paycheck cloud his decision. He has seen the troubles Vale and Nicky have had with Ducati and Im sure really wants to be champ again so why would he risk it on a bike that’s never been completely dialed in.

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  18. Dargo says:

    Come on Colin Edwards…the texas light breeze!!

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  19. Briumph says:

    Jorge has the skill, toughness and heart to be a title winner or contender for years to come. Not a huge fan of his but I root against the Hondas…underdogs for the win is way more exciting than the Repaol parade. Love races, not a fan of parades.

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  20. VLJ says:

    I’d have to say that yes, Lorenzo remains the best at the moment. Here’s the issue, in a nutshell: Though arguably faster and steadier, he certainly wasn’t as fortunate as Marquez, otherwise his more-frequent-crasher rookie rival would have suffered the broken collarbones to derail his championship aspirations, and he (Lorenzo) would have walked away relatively unscathed from his few tumbles. Instead, #93 miraculously avoided any serious injuries while Jorge and Pedroza were left shaking their tiny fists at the capricious whims of fate.

    I would really like to see Jorge and Marc paired together on the Repsol Honda squad in 2015. Stick those two on equal machinery, especially if Lorenzo should take up residence in the other half of the orange and blue garage as the reigning world champion, having regained his crown in 2014?

    That would be truly epic.

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    • mickey says:

      Very well put VLJ. Jorge is the smoothest, Marquez is the boldest and most aggressive, Pedrosa is the unluckiest. Any of those 3 are capable, it depends on how the winds of fate treat them. However I doubt that you would see Jorge and Marquez in the same livery. Jorge is top dog where he is now. If he would leave he would play second fiddle to the golden boy in the Honda garage.

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  21. MGNorge says:

    “Is Jorge Lorenzo Still The Best Rider In MotoGP?”

    Certainly one of the most consistent toward the front of the pack. If he stays healthy he’s awfully hard to stay with throughout a whole race season. Honda has done it with bikes every bit the match of the Yamahas, and even more so, but who’s riders frequent the tarmac a bit more often.

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  22. Brinskee says:

    Not impressed with the livery. Why don’t they go nuts like Repsol? Their bikes are fantastic! Ducati have taken a step back in years lately as well. I’ll volunteer my design skills!

    And yes, interesting to see what Jorge can pull off this year. Marc is NOT crashproof and it could easily tilt towards Jorge’s favor this season. It’s a long season with tons of awesome racing ahead. What I’d like to see is Marc, Jorge, and CS27 on the same bikes… that would make for a spectacular season! Anyway, poor Dani. When is he going to lose his ride? Does his contract expire at the end of 2014?

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  23. richard says:

    both awesome riders…Lorenzo is the veteran over Marquez….be interesting to watch next season…thinking Marquez will have the edge…however Lorenzo is better at the mind games…tough call.

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