Lorenzo names four 2019 MotoGP title favourites

Valentin Khorounzhiy

Three-time champion Lorenzo has had his preparations for his first season with Honda disrupted by injury, and believes he still lacks the experience to get the most out of the RC213V despite positive first tests in 2018.

Because of this, Lorenzo views former Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso, as well as Yamaha pair Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi, as bigger threats to Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez heading into the season.

“I always say that in MotoGP, anything is possible, but of course we have to be realistic and we have to understand our limitations at that point,” Lorenzo told MotoGP.com's After the Flag when asked about his title ambitions for 2019.

“Limitations, I don't think because a lack of speed, a lack of talent, a lack of motivation or a lack of hard work - it's about experience, no?

“Just three or four tests, it's not enough to know the bike perfectly and it's not going to be easy. Also knowing my last injuries. So, for sure, we will struggle a little bit in Qatar and in the next two or three races.

“I think our goal is to improve the bike, to be able to be competitive, to be able to be fast. If we can win races, good, and who knows, if something is much better than we expected, also we can fight for the world title.

“But at this moment for sure I am not one of the favourites.

“There are other riders, like for example Marc, obviously, that is the favourite, who needs and who must fight for the world title, together with Dovizioso, Valentino - that is always there and knows the bike completely - and Vinales for example.”

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Lorenzo, who is recovering from a scaphoid fracture and was replaced by Stefan Bradl in the Sepang test, was encouraged by Honda's showing at the Malaysian venue.

His former employer Ducati locked out the top four on the final day of running in Malaysia, which Lorenzo admitted was a “good sign” for the Italian manufacturer.

“But you know, pre-season is always pre-season and one lap is only one lap,” he added. “We cannot take so many conclusions about that.

“But for sure also Honda riders look strong - Marc dominated the first day, Bradl and [LCR rider Takaaki] Nakagami don't look very far from the top guys, so that's a good sign in an always complicated track for us, that always has been Sepang.

“So, yeah, happy and looking forward to jump back onto the Honda [in the Qatar test].”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Bradl

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Bradl Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images