Lorenzo not focusing on Honda contract situation

By Sports Desk November 12, 2019

Jorge Lorenzo insists he is not yet focusing on his future with Honda Repsol as he aims to put a frustrating 2019 MotoGP campaign behind him.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo has struggled this season, with his year marred by a back injury and poor form.

The Spaniard's campaign hit a new low in the Australian Grand Prix in October, as he finished last, 66 seconds adrift of his Honda team-mate and this season's champion Marc Marquez, who won the race.

However, even with his contract at Honda set to expire at the end of next season, Lorenzo is adamant his only aim is to rediscover his form in 2020.

"You cannot think about getting the apple when the tree is not already in the ground," the Spaniard told Crash.net ahead of the final race of 2019 in Valencia.

"Everything comes at the right time. I guess if the results will improve a lot and Honda will be happy and I will be happy, so the thing is to renew the contract.

"This happens in the case of everyone. If it's not like this, both parts will take different directions. It's logical in this sport.

"But you cannot think about what is going to happen in three, five, or seven months. It's not worth it. Especially when I am struggling to get very good results. So I have to focus to try to do much better with the Honda, and this is what I try."

Lorenzo sustained a back injury in the Dutch TT at Assen, and believes he will be far better off once he has the chance to fully recover.

"It's hard because this injury is very tough. It takes very long to heal. But I wasn't able to stop because we have race, race, race, race," he added.

"Every time I do a race, I am after the race two days with pain on my back. Then I recover and I again have to race the next one.

"So I didn't have one or two months of total recovery. This I think is what I need at the end of the season."

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    The Mercedes driver finished ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull star Max Verstappen to win the drivers' title for a sixth time, putting him one behind Michael Schumacher.

    He ended the campaign with a magnificent 11th victory in Abu Dhabi, a triumph that matched his personal best tally for wins in a season and ensured he comprehensively beat Bottas by 87 points.

    After receiving his trophy, Hamilton told the watching audience he did not think he had enjoyed a better season in his F1 career.

    "For me this has definitely been the best season of my life," Hamilton said.

    "I've enjoyed collaborating with this incredible team. Not everyone realises it is almost 2,000 people in our team.

    "Fighting hard with Valtteri and a lot of these up and coming young drivers this year has been fantastic.

    "To come into a sixth year, to have fought for a world title at the front and sustained the performance we have collectively I think has been amazing. On the driver front, I’m definitely very happy with my performance this year. 

    "There's been lots of great races, the last few years have been intense with Ferrari, but having another team [Red Bull] up there in the loop has made it more challenging for us all."

    Hamilton expects a closer battle in 2020 with Verstappen, who won the award for Action of the Year for his battle with Charles Leclerc at Silverstone.

    "I'm just looking forward to this winter - next year is going to be close," added Hamilton, who has been linked with a move to Ferrari in 2021 with his Mercedes contract having one year left to run.

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    Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon won the Rookie of the Year award, while Mercedes collected their sixth consecutive constructors' title.

    Former Mercedes executive and three-time world champion Niki Lauda, who died in May, was honoured with the Personality of the Year award.

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    Hamilton won his sixth world title this year, emerging victorious in 11 of the 21 races, including in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

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    10 - Hamilton became the first driver to win world titles with a span of more than 10 years. His first championship came in 2008 when he was driving for McLaren.

    11 - With 11 race wins, Hamilton enjoyed his joint-best year having also taken the chequered flag that many times in 2014 and 2018.

    19 - The world champion has now led from start to finish in 19 grands prix, the joint most of any driver in F1 along with Ayrton Senna.

    17 - Hamilton had a place on the podium in 17 races in 2019.

    13 - The Briton has recorded at least one pole position in each of the last 13 seasons (2007 to 2019), the joint-longest run in F1 history after Michael Schumacher's streak between 1994 and 2006.

    61 - Hamilton has recorded 61 pole positions for Mercedes, more than any other driver for a single F1 team.

    146 - In 146 grands prix, Hamilton has held the lead, more than any other driver in F1 history.

    3 - Red Bull's Max Verstappen enjoyed his best year to date, winning three races across the calendar.

    22 - It was a more challenging year for Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who went 22 successive races between the Italian Grand Prix in 2018 and Singapore Grand Prix in 2019 without a victory - the worst run of his F1 career.

    6 - Mercedes equalled Ferrari (1999-2004) as the team to have won the most successive constructors' titles.

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