2018 appears to be the year where all of MotoGP’s sleeping dogs are being rudely woken from their slumber.
First there was the end of the fragile truce between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, their fierce rivalry reignited by that clash in the Grand Prix of Argentina.
Now Jorge Lorenzo has also proven he has not forgotten the tension that underpinned his years with Rossi at Yamaha.
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ROSSI V LORENZO: All the head-to-head stats of their 7 years at Yamaha
Lorenzo has released a new book, entitled “What I learnt before 30”, and in it is an interesting insight into ‘The Doctor’s return to Yamaha for 2013.
After two horror seasons at Ducati, Rossi’s reunion with his beloved Yamaha M1 didn’t initially vault him back into regular contention for race victories.
In their previous time together at Yamaha from 2008-2010, Rossi famously asked for a literal wall to be put between he and his teammate’s garages in order to stop Lorenzo from using and benefiting from his set up information.
In his book, Lorenzo suggests that he kind of returned the favour in 2013.
“Rossi had come back to Yamaha and they wanted his results to improve,” a snippet of the book published by gpone.com read.
“I found out that my trainer, Antonio Casciano, had met with Rossi and his trainer in Tavullia. He had explained my training method to him and so I decided to stop working with Antonio.
“Valentino started to train with the exact same bikes that I had been using in Gerno, doing exactly the same exercises. Coincidence or not, he started to be more competitive.
“I decided to talk to Maio (Meregalli, Yamaha team manager) — I could accept that they would copy the settings before each race, but that was too much.
“I preferred that Meregalli did not attend the technical meetings we would hold after each session, I suspected he was passing everything on to Rossi’s team.
“You can’t give an advantage and let them copy you. Everything that gives you an advantage over your rivals, you have to keep secret.”
‘IDIOT THAT I AM, I PICKED A FIGHT WITH STONER’
Lorenzo was also candid — and self-deprecating — about the crash that cost him half of a finger in 2011.
He was on the back foot in a battle for the world championship with Casey Stoner, the Australian 40 points ahead with three races to go — the first of which was at Phillip Island, where he’d been unbeaten in four previous starts and chase a fifth from pole position.
He would go on to make it five and clinch the title on his birthday, after Lorenzo was forced to miss the race entirely.
“In 2011, in the Australian GP, the idiot that I am, I proposed a fight with Casey Stoner,” an excerpt published by Marca read.
“In the warm-up I saw him go out of the boxes, it was the perfect opportunity to study what parts of the track he made the difference in and I took advantage to do a quick lap and put the pressure on him.
“I let him go 200 metres ahead, I was very excited, going way over my limit, being very aggressive.
“Casey went harder and harder, I felt a bump and I went off, injured my left ring finger and I lost part of it.”