Reigning champ Lorenzo gears up for first MotoGP of 2013

Hopes high for Marc Márquez, making his debut after stepping up from Moto2

From left to right: MotoGP riders Marc Márquez, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
From left to right: MotoGP riders Marc Márquez, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.STRINGER (EFE)

Qatar has been kind to Jorge Lorenzo. The Spanish rider has won in all three categories here, and, as current MotoGP world champion, is a firm favorite to take the win at Sunday’s race, the first of the 2013 season.

Speaking to EL PAÍS, the Yamaha rider made it clear that he was not concerned by the prospect of sharing a garage this year with his biggest rival, Italian rider Valentino Rossi. “The return of Rossi is very positive,” the Spaniard said. “Both for him, because the last few years [at Ducati] were not what he was expecting, and for Yamaha: we make a very strong team.”

For another of his major competitors, fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa, he also had positive words. “Anything is possible in motorcycling and if Pedrosa and I had to race together we would make a great team. Our relationship is good, much better than the way things were a few years ago.”

There will be a new Spaniard on the MotoGP grid this year: reigning Moto2 champion Marc Márquez, who will be sharing a garage with Pedrosa at Honda. In Lorenzo’s opinion, the 20-year-old “is ready to fight for wins, and he has a lot of the qualities he will need to do so.”

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Márquez said that he and the team weren’t ruling anything out. “Nothing is impossible,” he said. “But the key is to try to be patient. It’s a big day for me, and the expectation is quite big. I will try to go practice by practice, try all the things we need to, get the best set-up and then see how it is in the race.”

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