Jorge Lorenzo says it was a "difficult choice" to take up the No. 1 on his Yamaha for his title defense, but that he felt it would be wrong not to use the champion's number having earned it.
MotoGP title winners can elect to stick with their traditional racing numbers, with Lorenzo's former teammate Valentino Rossi preferring to keep his No. 46 even in the seasons when he was champion, but Lorenzo will switch from his usual No. 99 to No. 1 for 2011.
"I am very proud because you have to work very hard to have the option to wear it," said Lorenzo, who ran with the No. 1 for post-season testing at Valencia last year. "I have been lucky with my design because the No. 1 works really well with my JL initials, maybe with different letters it would have been difficult to make it look right. I hope my fans will like it!
"I won't forget my No. 99 this season, it will be there somewhere on my leathers because No. 99 is in my heart. It was a difficult choice to change my number but I have earned the right for this unique opportunity to wear it."
Before Rossi's recent run of titles, 2006-'07 champions Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner both chose to run with No. 1 during their title defenses.