Lorenzo: Each small, medium step like a victory

Reverting to Honda’s old seat gives Jorge Lorenzo the confidence to post the fourth fastest time on Friday; “Yesterday they were saying I am finished, I will be out of the championship. This is the sport.”
Lorenzo: Each small, medium step like a victory

Jorge Lorenzo admitted it was “tough” to recover, “get the motivation … be positive” and overcome an early morning spill at Le Mans, where he posted an impressive fourth fastest time in FP2.

The result was a much-needed boost for the Majorcan, who faced a question regarding his future on Thursday after Spanish sports daily AS ran a story he may lose his place if his current run of results continue.

“You are saying that I am adapting faster than to the Ducati, and yesterday they were saying I am finished, I will be out of the championship,” he said. "This is the sport, no?” Both Lorenzo and Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig strongly denied this ultimatum was issued.

The fact Lorenzo was just 0.288s from overall pace setter Maverick Viñales was highly positive, and the Majorcan revealed he had reverted to Honda’s “standard” seat on Friday, which he believes to be a “better solution.”

“It has been tough this morning,” began the Majorcan. “It has been tough to crash and finish 14th, it was very tough mentally to get the motivation and to be positive.

“But finally, somehow I got on the bike with some motivation and positivity, and finally we tried more things on the bike, and something that we tried gave us a benefit in terms of safety, in terms of comfort in the corner.

“As I said yesterday, every small or medium or big step is like a victory. Maybe I didn't win a race or made a podium, but I gained something.

“Hopefully we can keep this level. I don't know about tomorrow, because probably tomorrow it's going to rain but in the next dry sessions, I will keep trying more things to try to make the next step.

“This type of seat came from my time in Yamaha, and I kept it in Ducati, and I brought it to Honda. But finally I discovered that it's not working, and the standard Honda seat is a better solution.

“I didn't [just] make a single lap, I made three laps in 1m 31.5s. So that's not a bad pace. But we need to translate this into a result in the race. If we cannot do that, we cannot be really confident and demonstrate and show what we are able to do.

“This was just a practice, but about the feelings, we made a step. So for me, it's like a small victory, but the speed is going to be a long process, it's not going to be easy.”

Asked where he feels the weakest point of the current bike is, Lorenzo offered, “Well I cannot compare with the 2019 bike with the 2018 bike, because I was not in the team. The front is sensitive. It's a bike where the front is sensitive.

“You need to understand all the tricks and the way to ride it well. But obviously I'm having crashes, and it's probably not the strongest point on the bike. The confidence that it gives you on the front when you enter the corner with the brakes is not the best.

“But it's the way it is. We have very strong points, like the entry of the corner or the turning in some corners, we have the strong engine, that's the thing that we have and it's like this.”

Does he believe he can maintain a leading pace for 20 laps? “My goal in dry conditions is to finish close to the winner,” he said. “And step-by-step, we are going to get there.”