MotoGP

Crash.net's Motorsport Moments of 2018 - Part 3

In the third and final part of Crash.net's personal look back on the 2018 racing season, Haydn Cobb assesses some of his most memorable moments of the year.

With the Christmas almost here and the racing world taking a rest, it is the perfect time to look back on the year and pick out some of the highlights of the year.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Crash.net's editorial team has been reflecting on some of their favourite personal moments from the season that has been. From extraordinary flashpoints on-track to poignant moments off it, it acts as a nice look back on our year.

In the third and final part, Haydn Cobb picks out some memorable 2018 moments.

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Jerez MotoGP – Lorenzo’s lap times do the talking

With Jorge Lorenzo contractually tied down it meant he was banned from speaking to the media at either of the post-season tests during his Repsol Honda debut at Valencia and Jerez respectively. While it is common practice when a high-profile rider switches from one manufacturer to another – Lorenzo was even banned from one Ducati test due to his Yamaha contract at the end of 2016 – it certainly kept most of the press corps guessing about how Lorenzo really felt adapting to the RC213V.

Valencia appeared a step-by-step tentative approach given the mixed conditions and recently-operated wrist but Lorenzo was able to express himself a week later at the Jerez test.

Consistently eye-catching lap times, ending the test within two-tenths of fellow Honda stars Marc Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami did its own talking albeit with tyre and fuel strategies relatively clouded, but it was clear the Spaniard wasn’t facing such a daunting prospect that was initially feared.

What made Lorenzo all the more impressive came from watching him trackside at the Jerez test were subtle but obvious style adjustments to suit the Honda were being worked and gave methodology to his lap times.

A couple of eagle-eye photographers were also able to shoot comparisons between Lorenzo and Marquez attacking corners and at times a certain symmetry appeared between the two.

Honda also showed it wasn’t going to do things by half for Lorenzo with a modified fuel tank with a grippy outer surface resembling the set-up he credited his Ducati breakthroughs on the way to his maiden wins for the Italian manufacturer back in May at Mugello.

Lorenzo’s feeling with the Honda, and his Ducati exit, remains a story to be told in 2019 but clarity came from what he does best – going extremely fast on a race track.

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