Jorge Lorenzo almost retired after Ducati MotoGP exit

Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has admitted he was "very close" to retiring before he sealed a deal with Honda ahead of the 2019 season

Jorge Lorenzo almost retired after Ducati MotoGP exit

Lorenzo signed a two-year contract with Ducati for 2017-18, but he had a tough first season and made a difficult start to 2018 that played a part in his exit from the manufacturer after just three wins with the marque.

A lack of open seats meant he was linked to Suzuki before it signed Joan Mir instead.

Lorenzo's only option for a 2019 ride appeared to be the new Petronas-backed SIC Yamaha satellite team before he sealed a shock Honda move alongside Marc Marquez.

While his future was up in the air, Lorenzo said that he was close to ending his racing career.

"It was [a crazy time]. I was like almost in a little depression," Lorenzo told BT Sport.

"When I was seeing the possibility to retire, in my head I was getting depressed.

"Normally when I imagine my retirement, in some ways I was feeling happy and relieved because I will not feel the pressure anymore and I will not get injured anymore.

"But really I didn't expect that when I just started feeling the possibility of retirement that I would be getting depressed. "And it was like this, I was very close to retirement.

"It's true I had another possibility to go in the satellite team with Yamaha. It was a good option but not the one I wanted."

Lorenzo said he thought Ducati "did not believe" in him anymore after failing to get the required results.

He also argued that he had felt strong enough to win races. "It was unbelievable," said Lorenzo.

"They say in motorcycle racing and sport in general, your value is your last race, and my last races [leading up to Honda deal] were terrible.

"It was very tough for me mentally, because I was working and training more than ever, but the results were not coming.

"And I knew what was happening, and we were just very very close to getting the good results and the victory.

"But people didn't believe because I stay at Ducati for a year-and-a-half and we didn't get any victories.

"I just saw we were getting very close to the victory.

"We were leading from the beginning of the races for - I don't know, five laps, seven laps, even 10 laps - but finally we were missing something and I knew what we were missing.

"But the team probably in that moment didn't believe in Jorge Lorenzo anymore."

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