Lorenzo: Stoner the most talented rider I’ve ever seen

Yamaha world champion Jorge Lorenzo with Casey Stoner

Yamaha world champion Jorge Lorenzo with retiring Honda rider Casey Stoner

Jorge Lorenzo has paid Casey Stoner a heartfelt compliment ahead of the Australian’s retirement from MotoGP at the end of the season, describing the Australian as the most talented motorcycle rider he has ever seen.

Lorenzo squared the ledger with Stoner at two MotoGP World Championship titles apiece by following his rival to the finish in today’s Air Asia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The duo have been close rivals for much of the last decade, with great respect having grown between the pair since their heated 125cc clashes in the early-to-mid 2000s.

When asked to reflect on his battles with Stoner following today’s race, Lorenzo was glowing in his praise of the Australian.

“I have the same number of championships like him in MotoGP, but I also have two in 250cc,” he mused.

“It’s difficult to see which is better. For sure I have strong points and he has strong points.

“He is really talented. I think I am talented, but probably I have never seen a rider as purely talented as him.

“Maybe not these (last) two years, but previously with Ducati he was the only rider who get into a track and put you out two seconds the first few laps. He was unbelievable how he made it.

“(But) who is the strongest one is difficult to say.”

The 25-year-old Lorenzo added that he understands Stoner’s decision to call it quits at the end of 2012.

“For sure he knows much better than me why he retires, but I understand his point of view,” said Lorenzo.

“He is 27 only, he is still young, but he was in the world championship from when he was 15 and riding bikes when he was three years old. It burns you out a little bit, all the travelling.

“I think he is the one that likes less the press and to make interviews, the more marketing side.

“He also has family, a wife and little child. These two or three things are influencing his decision.”

Lorenzo added that he hopes to continue racing past Stoner’s retirement age, but baulked at suggestions he could mirror the career of Italian Max Biaggi, who won his second World Superbike Championship title this year at the age of 41.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s race report, results and championship points.

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