Jorge Lorenzo has described his Yamaha teammate and championship rival Valentino Rossi as a hero after watching the Italian score his 100th grand prix victory in the Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday. The Spaniard was powerless to catch Rossi after a poor start rendered Lorenzo mid-pack on the first lap.
The two-time race winner in 2009 fought his way back up to second and though initially he began to catch Rossi, a fading front tire prevented him from staging a challenge for the lead.
"The hero today is Valentino," said Lorenzo. "He won 100 races and this number is unbelievable. My race has been quite difficult because at some points on this track I lost so many tenths, especially in T4. I didn't solve this problem enough through the weekend to catch Valentino. So I struggled a lot to reduce the gap to Valentino and when my front tire started to go off and said to myself, 'OK, today second position is good'."
Lorenzo admitted that his poor start had cost him a lot of time in the early laps of the race.
"After making such a bad start you have to be very careful because if you want to overtake riders in any corners on the first laps you can crash," he told the BBC. "I overtook some riders and then I wanted to reduce the gap between myself and Valentino.
"I closed a little every lap but then the front tire started to go."