September 20, 2020

Valencia GP: Cheste cheers Jorge Lorenzo in his last race, in which the victory is for Márquez | sports

Marc Márquez ended the year winning. In Cheste, the MotoGP world champion put the finishing touch on his fantastic season with a new victory, the number 12. Laughter of joy and tears of emotion in the Repsol Honda, which says goodbye from the top of the podium to Jorge Lorenzo, his pilot. The five-time world champion gets off the bike after 18 years. He entered the cheered box all over the paddock and said goodbye to the World Cup burning wheel. Giving gas, as always. For the statistics it is left behind Marc Márquez finished Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller.

In the grand prizes, in the previous green traffic light, the grill is filled with authorities, journalists with vests and VIP guests. The scent of perfume and cologne is mixed with the acid smell of tires and gasoline. There, in that corral of nerves that is an exit line, before releasing the pilots to roll at more than 300 kilometers per hour, populous corridors form around the motorcycles and their riders. Game of elbows and thrusts to gain the position that entitles the best selfi.

Jorge Lorenzo says goodbye to the public in Cheste.

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Jorge Lorenzo says goodbye to the public in Cheste. AFP

The main fights are usually formed in the front rows, where top ranked drivers, the favorites for victory, are concentrated. Márquez, Quartararo, Dovizioso and, always and everywhere, Valentino Rossi monopolize the eyes and the spotlights. However, this Sunday in Cheste, a crowding stood out at the bottom of the grill. Jorge Lorenzo was preparing his last start. Big red headphones covered his ears, as usual, but few melodies had time to listen this time before getting on the motorcycle, because a battalion of cameras and micros waited for him to capture his impressions. Those were going to be Jorge Lorenzo's last words still active, just an hour later everything would be over.

"Nerves," Lorenzo was barely able to describe, an anxiety that had altered his rest during the previous night, when the succession of memories had stolen space from the dream. While his mechanics were waiting for him with the motorcycle ready, Juan Llansá, his trustworthy nut was with the nerves to the surface, Lorenzo interviewed so much that the sports director of the Honda team, Alberto Puig, crossed arms and openwork cap, bit his lips impatiently and made a drastic gesture to Héctor Martín, responsible for communication at Honda. But the questions continued and Puig himself ended up approaching his pilot to tell him that it was enough.

Lorenzo does not hide that he has a peculiar character, and that when he was young that character was more capricious than peculiar. But, despite the bad results that he has reaped in his last season, the professionalism of the Balearic is valued at Honda. Márquez himself recognized in an interview with EL PAÍS that he had been surprised by the withdrawal of his teammate because he had seen him get involved and work hard until the last moment. But with work it is not enough for Lorenzo, tired of the injuries and the demands of a Honda with which he never drove comfortable. The Balearic retires with a baggage of 68 victories in 297 grand prizes and five world titles.

Beyond giving away a "long vacation somewhere in the sun and the beach", the Majorcan resident in Switzerland has not decided what he will spend his free time from now on. He wants more to have a presence in a TV show or show than to stay closely linked to the world of motorcycles. He says he needs to relax and get away from the pressure. Meanwhile, where there is no truce is in the Repsol Honda box. Lorenzo's withdrawal has left a motorcycle free and Alberto Puig has been stuffed with the ears of proposals and names of candidates. Alex Márquez is the best positioned to keep the second official Honda and to become teammate of his brother Marc.

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