Repsol Honda newboy Jorge Lorenzo has revealed he had retirement on his mind during the 2018 season and believes he was suffering with depression because of his results with Ducati.
The three-time world champion went to the Bologna factory with high hopes but spent 18 months in the doldrums before his famous back-to-back victories at Mugello and Barcelona.
“I was like almost in a little depression. When I was seeing the possibility to retire, in my head I was getting depressed. Normally when I imagine my retirement, in some way I was feeling happy and relieved because I will not feel anymore the pressure and I will not get injured anymore,” said Lorenzo.
“But really I didn’t expect when I just started feeling this possibility of retirement I would be getting depressed. And it was like this, was very close for the 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.”
“It was unbelievable. They say in motorcycle racing and the sport in general, your value is your last race, and my last races were terrible.
“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 I knew we were just very very close to getting the good results and the victory.
“But people didn’t believe because I stay in Ducati for one year and a half and we didn’t get any victorie.
“I just saw we were getting very close to the victory, because we were leading the race from the beginning of the races for, I don’t know, five laps, even 12 laps, but finally we were missing something and I knew what we were missing.
“But the team probably in that moment didn’t believe anymore in Jorge Lorenzo.”