MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has urged Jorge Lorenzo to make a decision on his future, describing the beleaguered Honda rider’s recent struggles as “sad”.
Lorenzo is approaching the conclusion of what has been a nightmare first season as a Honda rider, sitting 19th in the championship with just 25 points to his name ahead of the last round of the season at Valencia.
The Spaniard has been a fixture towards the back of the grid ever since returning from injury after his four-race layoff in the wake of fracturing his back in an Assen practice crash.
Last month’s Phillip Island round marked the nadir for Lorenzo as he finished the race more than a minute down on race-winning Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez and 22 seconds behind the rider in front, Tech 3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin.
He showed a minor improvement last weekend in Sepang has he ended a run of four races finishing outside the points in 14th place.
Ezpeleta, the CEO of MotoGP promoter Dorna, believes it’s time for Lorenzo to decide whether he believes he truly has it in him to return to his former greatness.
“I think Lorenzo has to make a decision,” Ezpeleta told Motorsport.com. “I get along very well with him, I like him very much, but he has to think about what he wants to do with his life.
“If it turns out that what happens is that his back hurts so much [after the crashes in Barcelona testing and Assen], then that’s it.
“Jorge must start thinking about whether he can recover and become the Lorenzo we all know, or else he doesn’t, for himself and for the championship.
“I don’t like to see a guy as good as him finish 19th. Mind you, I don’t think he can force himself more than he is doing.
“If it turns out that after the last accident in Assen that all is not well, you have to consider what to do and decide whether to stop racing or whatever.
“But I am convinced that if the Lorenzo who raced in Assen 2013 after surgery on his collarbone explains what he is doing now, he would not understand. It makes me sad to see him like this.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team
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