ANOTHER race weekend, another step closer, and Jorge Lorenzo has gained further understanding of the Ducati GP17’s needs, after the Majorcan finished a little over three seconds behind the race winner at the British Grand Prix.
Lorenzo was unequivocal when asked whether this fifth place was his best performance in Ducati colours. “It was in Austria, and now it's here,” he said. “I improved on the race from Austria, so every time closer. [It was] One position worse, but 3 seconds closer.”
While it appeared the five-time world champion was only going backwards in the early laps, he soon found his rhythm, to post a pace that was equal to that of the leading group, and enough to pull him clear of Johann Zarco and Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo had learnt to take greater care with the throttle, he said, with his opening of the gas in a less aggressive manner working well in the closing laps, yet more useful knowledge that will aid his quest for further podiums in the closing six races of the year.
“Simply I didn't start very well, I didn't recover any positions, so I kept my position," he said. "I could have overtaken some riders in braking, but I decided to not take so many risks, so I stayed there.
“I changed a little bit my way of riding this time, especially with the throttle to create less spinning and to maintain the life of the tire for longer. This is the only thing that changed.
“But I don't think if I was a little bit faster at the beginning, I will drop more the tyre. I think it's more a question of how I open the throttle, that until now, I opened the throttle a little bit more like with the Yamaha, and with this bike, you need to change a little bit this kind of style during the race.
“And finally I understood a little bit the way to keep the life of the tyre, and this for sure will help me in the next tracks. We need to improve the behavior of the engine in the future, I think we can do quite a bit in that aspect, and engineers will work on that.
“Because when you start losing the rear grip, the bike behaves a little bit more aggressive and you need to be very smooth in acceleration, and probably before this race, I was a little bit too aggressive when I was losing a little bit too aggressive when I started losing rear grip.
“Now I'm changing that style, and now I'm changing it. I would like that in the future to be able to come back to my normal way, but at the moment, it's not possible, so we have to work with what we have.”
This was the third race weekend in succession when Lorenzo had been competitive throughout free practice, qualifying, and, to a certain extent, the race. As a result, the #99 feels the future looks very bright indeed.
“For sure this is what I would like, but first I need to get some more podiums, and if we can win one victory, then for sure with these better results we can go into the next year better,” he said. “Next year, I will also know the bike more, probably the bike will improve the weak points that we have now. Theoretically if you see the future, I see it better and better.”
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