Jorge Lorenzo describes Marc Marquez as lucky to be a three-time MotoGP champion so early in his career and insists his Spanish countryman is beatable, despite his record-breaking feat.
Marquez wrote himself into the record books when he wrapped up his third MotoGP championship at last weekend’s Japan Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old became the youngest rider to secure three premier class world championships, sounding a warning to his rivals about his potential dominance for years to come.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo could only watch on after he crashed out at the Motegi circuit, ending his world title defence.
While quick to praise the Honda rider’s prodigious talent, Lorenzo, speaking in Sydney ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, said Marquez was fortunate to have won his first title in 2013 because his bike was so far ahead of the rest of the field.
“To be honest he was the best in the 2014 season and this year,” Lorenzo told AAP at an event for surface company Cosentino.
“In the first year he won, the Honda was the best bike. The Yamaha was a little bit behind, for me it was more difficult for me to fight with (Dani) Pedrosa and Marquez. So they had the best bike.
“Also he was a little bit lucky because he crashed 15 times but he didn’t get injured. But Pedrosa and I, we crashed two times but the two times (we crashed) we got injured. So sometimes luck is very important.
“But obviously the numbers speak for themselves – they are amazing.”
The task for the rest of the field is keeping abreast of Marquez in the years to come as his talent continues to bloom.
Three-time champion Lorenzo was adamant he could be competitive next year, even ahead of a switch to Ducati.
Australian Casey Stoner – in 2007 – is the only rider to have won a MotoGP championship on a Ducati and Lorenzo is also aiming to become just the sixth rider to have won titles with two different manufacturers.
“We still can beat him and we’re going to try to beat him,” Lorenzo said of Marquez.
“It (the move to Ducati) is a great challenge. This is a thing that attracts me a lot and I will put all my effort into it.
“It will not be easy, I know that. We are fighting against Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki who are strong factories but for sure we will have our strong points.”