Jorge Lorenzo Aims for 2009 Title

Despite finishing the Valencia race in 8th place, Spain's Jorge Lorenzo managed to secure his 4th place in the overall riders' classification ahead of former 250cc rival Andrea Dovizioso. The result makes Lorenzo the highest ranked rookie in 2008, a performance achieved despite the Spaniard's medical problems throughout the season.

“It's not the best finish of my career for sure. We couldn't get a good pace or the right feeling all weekend. In the race it was getting better, and I'm happy because yesterday with the race tire I was last (early in qualifying), and today eighth is not so bad. But it's not the best dream finish,” BBC News quoted Lorenzo as saying after he crossed the finish line.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard is happy with the Rookie of the Year award this season and is hopeful that he will be challenging for the world title as early as next year: “We're very, very happy with the rookie trophy, that was quite important for us. Next year we hope to fight for the big trophy”.

Lorenzo came into the MotoGP as double champion of the 250cc class but never had such a strong teammate-bond with 4-time champion Valentino Rossi. Especially with the Spaniard challenging Rossi for race wins from the season's very beginning. Lorenzo scored 3 consecutive pole positions in the first part of the season and also a race win at Estoril. Nevertheless, a series of injuries kept the Spaniard from continuing the title fight alongside Rossi, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa so he had to settle for 4th place in the end.

“I learned many things, not only professionally, but personally too. It's been a very tough year, with many lessons, many crashes, and many internal problems, so this will make me a lot tougher in the head, and it will be good for the future. Consistency is very important, but you have to be on the podium very regularly. If you are fourth or fifth it doesn't matter. You've got to be competitive, and for sure with the new regulations for the tires it will be less confusing,” concluded Lorenzo.

The Spaniard will use Bridgestone tires next year – as compared to Michelin in 2008 – as a consequence of the sole-supplier rule imposed by the FIM a few weeks ago.
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