Jorge Lorenzo’s second season in MotoGP was one to remember for the 22 year-old, as he improved on his final standing of fourth in his rookie year of 2008 to cause real problems for team mate Valentino Rossi.
Displaying his strength from the start, Lorenzo finished on the podium in Qatar and won the second race in Japan. It was a remarkable start to the campaign from the Mallorcan rider, although a crash at Jerez in the third race after qualification in pole position was a stark reminder of the fine line between victory and despair.
A fantastic response to the setback followed in France where Lorenzo again won, this time in very testing conditions in a race which started on a wet track and ended with him riding on slicks. It was a sign of the youngster’s undoubted talent, and was followed up with five consecutive podium finishes.
Second place in Italy came before a stunning race at Catalunya, where Lorenzo was involved in the battle of the season with Rossi. The Italian won with an incredible overtake on the last corner beating Lorenzo to the win, but the Spaniard was widely praised for his sheer courage and determination.
After good top-three results at Assen, Laguna Seca and Sachsenring, back-to-back DNFs at Donington and Brno caused frustration as Rossi extended his lead at the top over Lorenzo to 50 points.
Indianapolis was next up, and Lorenzo replied with his third win of the year. Another victory in Portugal kept alive the battle for the title with Rossi, but a crash on the first lap at Phillip Island effectively ended his hopes of winning the 2009 crown.
Third place in the final race of the season at Valencia took Lorenzo’s record to four wins and 12 podiums in total for the year, and in 2010 he will again be a real contender for the MotoGP title.
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