MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo Retires From Motorcycle Racing

Multitime motorcycle racing champ retires from MotoGP competition.

Jorge Lorenzo announces his retirement
After 18 seasons of competition, three-time MotoGP world champ Jorge Lorenzo announces his retirement from professional racing. He’ll be remembered for his smooth, fluid riding style.Repsol Honda MotoGP

Three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement from professional motorcycle racing during Thursday’s MotoGP press conference at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. This weekend’s penultimate MotoGP round will mark the final race for Lorenzo.

“I always thought there are four significant days in the career of a rider,” the 32-year-old Spanish racer said. “Your first race, your first win, your first championship, and then the day you retire.”

Lorenzo grew up with motorcycles, having ridden his first bike when he was 3 years old. He moved quickly through the roadracing ranks and made his debut in the 125cc GP class in 2002. The following year he scored his first Grand Prix race win in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2005, Lorenzo graduated to the 250cc GP class netting back-to-back championships in 2006 and ’07. The next year he joined the MotoGP premier class and was teamed with nemesis, and seven-time world champ, Valentino Rossi on Yamaha’s factory racing team.

Jorge Lorenzo wearing Redbull motorcycle helmet
Lorenzo’s storied professional career ends with the HRC team at the penultimate 2019 round in Valencia, Spain.Repsol Honda MotoGP

Lorenzo remembered his nine years with Yamaha as, “without a doubt the most glorious of my career,” netting all three premier class championships with the Tuning Fork brand in 2010, 2012, and 2015.

Two years later he joined the Ducati Corse racing squad with two seasons of mixed results.

“Moving to Ducati gave me that big boost I needed, and even though the results were bad I used that extra motivation as fuel to not give up and finally win that special race at Mugello, in front of all the Ducati fans,” he remembers.

This year, Lorenzo joined the HRC team, however this season was marked with big crashes (and injuries) early on that proved to difficult to overcome.

“Unfortunately, injuries came soon to play an important role in my season,” the three-time Champ said. “This, plus a bike that never felt natural to me, makes races very difficult. Anyway, I never lost the patience and I kept fighting, just thinking that was simply a matter of time and that after all, things would get into the right place. But as I started to see some light I had this bad crash at the Montmelo test, and some weeks later that ugly one in Assen.

Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement during Thursday’s MotoGP press conference at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement during Thursday’s MotoGP press conference at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.Repsol Honda MotoGP

“At that point I had to admit, that when I stopped rolling into the gravel, the first thought that came into my mind was, ‘What am I doing here? Is this really worth it? I’m done with it.’ Some days later after reflecting a lot about my life and career I decided to give it a try. I wanted to be sure I was not making an early decision.

“The truth is from that crash,” Lorenzo continued, “the hill became too high for me, and even if I try, I couldn’t find the motivation and patience to be able to keep climbing it. You know, I love this sport, I love to ride, but above all things, I love to win. I understood that if I'm not able to fight for something big, to fight for the title or at least to fight for victories, I cannot find the motivation to keep going, especially at this stage of my career.”

After 18 seasons of competition, Lorenzo will be inducted as a MotoGP Legend having collected five world championships, 69 pole positions, 68 race wins, and 152 podium finishes.