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Jorge Lorenzo says he will face “the same situation” against Marc Marquez at Honda as he did when he partnered Valentino Rossi at Yamaha as a MotoGP rookie.
Lorenzo has left Ducati to replace Dani Pedrosa at Honda, which helped Marquez to five MotoGP riders’ titles in the past six years.
Rossi was also a five-time champion when Lorenzo arrived at Yamaha in 2008, and the Italian added two more titles to his tally before Lorenzo secured his first crown in ’10.
“During my career in MotoGP I shared the box with probably four riders – Valentino, [Ben] Spies, Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] and now with Marc – and this situation is quite similar from the one when I start in MotoGP in 2008,” said Lorenzo.
“At that time Valentino was in the peak of his career – he didn’t win [the championship] in 2006, ’07, but he was always fighting for the world title and he knew the bike.
“[It’s] more or less the same situation I have now that I come to a new team, Marc as a very very strong team-mate, knowing the bike a lot.
“For sure, in that area Marc has a big advantage.”
Lorenzo says he will approach his debut season alongside Marquez, who has 44 premier-class wins to his new team-mate’s 47 despite having joined MotoGP five years later, “with a lot of humility”.
“I always say that he is a phenomenon,” Lorenzo said of Marquez.
“I have a lot of things to learn from him.
“I come into the team with a lot of happiness and proudness but also with a lot of humility to try little-by-little to understand everything and get the results.”
While Lorenzo’s famously smooth riding style changed during his time at Ducati, it remains a different method to Marquez.
Marquez is convinced that this will not be a large problem for Honda, as Lorenzo’s initial feedback about the RC213V’s shortcomings has matched his own.
“For Honda it is not a big problem, because when Dani was in the box we had a completely different riding style,” said Marquez.
“And Honda has enough potential, especially HRC [Honda Racing Corporation], to have two different ways to improve the bike.
“But in the end, when you are riding fast, riding in the last tenth, all the riders are asking for the same.
“The most important thing is that for example me, Jorge, [LCR Honda rider] Cal [Crutchlow], we have more or less the same problems on the same areas.
“So this is the way to work with the team and try to improve for this 2019.”