Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he was ‘Grateful’ that Honda No1 didn’t stand in the way of his move from Ducati to Honda.
Earlier this year Ducati made the decision to axe Lorenzo from their rider line-up, leaving him with limited options to stay on in Moto GP. So it seemed. It then became clear that Honda was an option and soon after he was signed on to join them for 2019/2020 and that he’d be replacing the retiring Dani Pedrosa.
In an exclusive interview with Autosport, Lorenzo said he "owes" his future team-mate for not standing in the way of the move.
"For me that means he [Marquez] really trusts in himself and he doesn't want to show any weakness," Lorenzo said.
"I owe him the fact that I could sign with Honda and I'm very grateful because at that moment I was facing a difficult situation."
Referring to the new SIC Yamaha team, he said: "I wanted to keep racing, so I would have chosen the other possibility that I had open.
"I felt better than ever and would have been a shame saying goodbye in that circumstances
Lorenzo believes the lessons he's learned with Ducati after nine successful years at Yamaha will make the process of adapting to the Honda easier.
"I've been far from my comfort zone, I've had to reinvent myself to be faster again," he said of his time with Ducati.
"That has given me some abilities I didn't have before and probably will help me in my adaptation process to the Honda.
"And I've given a lot of knowledge to Ducati about what the bike needed to be even more competitive.
"The team has had to work in some areas they didn't before, like the chassis and the first touch of gas. Until that moment, everything was based on electronics and engine."
Lorenzo adds his first test on Honda machinery in November's post-Valencia test is likely to be an eye-opener.
"For sure it's going to be a shock the first time I jump on the bike, you only have to see the difference in size [compared to the Ducati]," he said.
"The Honda is a lot smaller, but it will have its good and its bad things."