Lorenzo: First races difficult, but we’ll get there

Jorge Lorenzo makes strides in terms of body positioning on Honda’s RC213V on day two in Qatar, but admits the first races of 2019 promise to be challenging.
Lorenzo: First races difficult, but we’ll get there

For Jorge Lorenzo, there came a “big step” on the second evening of MotoGP testing at the Losail International Circuit, but the Majorcan stressed the need to remain patient with the season opener fast approaching, and foresees "difficult first races" ahead.

On Saturday the five-time world champion had struggled to find a comfortable riding position aboard Honda's RC213V, as well as basic bike ergonomics on his return from a fractured left schaphoid that caused him to miss the Sepang test.

But on day two Lorenzo started to see the light. Yes, he ended Sunday’s outing with the 18th fastest time. But his 1m 55.742s was just 1.149s off Alex Rins’ fastest lap. And he was feeling a good deal more comfortable on the bike.



Physically there were improvements, too. “I get less tired,” Lorenzo noted. But with the season less than two weeks away, he acknowledged March and April may not run smoothly. But it will come. “We will get there,” he stressed.

“We improved a little bit the ergonomics of the bike, even if we still have some way to keep it perfect,” said Lorenzo. “But I feel better. I get less tired. At the end of the day the wrist was a little bit painful so I needed to stop a little bit before, and not do so many laps in the last hour.

“But other than that I feel better physically and we started working on some set-ups that improve the bike. Position-wise is not fantastic, but we are much closer to the fastest one. Yesterday we were 2 seconds [back], now we’re 1.1s. So we’re getting closer.

In terms of feeling and working on the bike, a big step. But obviously thecategory is very close and there are 20 riders almost in one second. The position is not fantastic but the important thing is to reduce the gap to the fastest ones and we did it.

“In terms of riding by myself, in terms of setting, in terms of ergonomics [we improved]. If we keep working like that for sure we are going to get closer. Obviously we don’t have so much time. We just have one day of the winter [left]. It’s like that.

“Maybe the first races will be difficult but little by little we have to be patient and we will get there.”

On how the injured left wrist was coping with the fast, flowing track layout, he offered, “Obviously you try to do whatever you can to not stress so much. You force more the right part of your body to free up the left. This compensation will get better in the Qatar race, and obviously in the next races.

“Today the wrist was quite good in the beginning of the day. In the last two hours it was a little bit painful so I couldn’t do so many laps. But in terms of the position on the bike, I could do more laps today with less stress on the body so this is positive.

“The braking zones and also at maximum angle when you get out of the bike, when you have the normal position and the straight position [is when it hurts]. For sure it’s difficult. You lose some time in all the corners.

“[But] I see some potential on the bike. Obviously the other brands don’t sleep and they are very competitive. If we keep working hard the result will come.”