2010 Moto GP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo sampled a GP2 Series car at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo Circuit on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Yamaha rider tested with the local Barwa Addax Team. The opportunity was arranged by Addax chief and businessman Alejandro Agag, who is an acquaintance of Lorenzo's manager Marcos Hirsch.
He drove the first generation chassis that was used in the Formula 1 feeder series between 2005 and 2007. Former GP2 racer Javier Villa was on hand to setup the car and offer advice to Lorenzo.
“This is a unique experience,” said Lorenzo. “It's very different to what I'm used to. To be honest it's an impressive sensation even if I do 310 on this circuit on a motorbike and the car reaches 280, but being so close to the ground, it seems like you're going much faster so it's exhilarating.
“Braking is incredible because you can brake really late going into the corner. You discover new sensations, having great fun at the same time. I'm happy with the result although reducing seconds on lap times at the end was very difficult and I started to feel I was getting stuck and it was tough making consistent progress.
“Considering it was the first time I can feel fairly satisfied because I began to feel the limits of the car. Although, Moto GP is my sport and for some time to come, I hope. This has simply been an opportunity that Alejandro offered us because of his relationship with Marcos, to experience new sensations and to have some fun, although you never know. My passion has been Moto GP since the age of three so I expect to be part of it for many more years. When I retire we will see.”
Agag added: “The truth is that, if it were decided now they have our offer. We are having a great time and we are delighted that Jorge is here with us. When I spoke to Marcos, he had told me how much he liked racing on four wheels and we decided there and then to set it up.
“Well, we aren't going to discuss times nor seconds but I will say we are very surprised by his natural talent. He has just driven one of these cars for the first time and has set times that match drivers who have been around for a long time. I don't know what his future plans might be, although I hope that he wins many more championships in Moto GP.
“Very few people could get behind the wheel of a machine that is the last step towards Formula 1 and do what Jorge did today. The feeling between the members of the team, mechanics, engineers has been spectacular. If he had started out 15 years ago with four wheels instead of 2, he would be without doubt driving and doing very well in Formula 1. As far as we are concerned he has has more than surpassed our greatest expectations.
“I would also like to thank Javi Villa, whose experience at this level has helped us set up the car and at the same time give Jorge all the necessary advice necessary for the occasion. I must also thank the circuit of the Valencian community for their wonderful hospitality.”