Lorenzo says Márquez is 2014 favourite
19 March 2014 – Double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo says that Honda rival Marc Márquez is the favourite for the 2014 MotoGP title.
Márquez narrowly edged out Lorenzo in 2013 as he claimed the title in his rookie season in the sport. Lorenzo reckons Márquez must be considered the favourite to win the championship in 2014.
"The championship is going to be even tighter than last season was and at the beginning just Márquez begins as the favorite contender," he said ahead of this weekend's season opener in Qatar. "Afterwards I guess Dani [Pedrosa] or me are in a good position but also Valentino [Rossi] who is even hungrier than in 2013."
Márquez is still recovering from injury after breaking his leg during a training accident but Lorenzo does not believe that his compatriot will be on the back foot.
"Regarding Marc’s pace we should wait before saying anything about it," he said. "He is so strong and quick. Maybe he won't start at a perfect level but I’m pretty sure he is going to be close to 100%."
Lorenzo's 2013 campaign was affected by injuries after breaking his collarbone mid-season but the Spaniard reckons he won't have any problems at this weekend's race.
"I undertook three surgeries during the wintertime to take out some plates and metal pieces from the collarbone and the hand so I returned to full fitness quite late," he said. "In general I feel nearly at 100% and I guess in Qatar we won’t have any problems to push to the maximum."
Lorenzo has won in Qatar for the past two years but is wary that the tyres remain an unknown quantity.
"Needless to say this is a good layout for both my Yamaha and me," he added. "I won here the past two races in a row and this is a circuit that suits in a good way the M1. The only thing we have to wait and see is the behaviour of the new tyres; especially on this surface; there is usually plenty of sand because it’s surround by the desert."