Lorenzo 'missing a lot', engine fast

The injured Jorge Lorenzo makes his 2019 MotoGP debut with 21st place for Repsol Honda on the opening night of the Qatar test.
Lorenzo 'missing a lot', engine fast

Jorge Lorenzo rode his belated first MotoGP laps of 2019, and made his debut in full Repsol Honda colours, during the start of testing in Qatar.

The triple MotoGP champion for Yamaha is now joining Honda after two seasons at Ducati, but was forced to miss the previous Sepang test after fracturing his left wrist in a January training accident.

Describing his wrist injury as '70%', Lorenzo said he did no set-up work as he focussed on trying to get comfortable with the RC213V.

"The wrist is not so bad. It's not perfect, and it will be better for the race, but I think it will be another month to be completely 100%," he said. "But it was enough to be able to do two or three laps in every run and to understand what we are missing.

"We are missing a lot at this moment.

"First my physical condition, because of the wrist and because I've been [three] months without riding MotoGP. You lose everything.You lose all the rhythm, all the speed, you get tired, even if you are strong in the gym. From that point of view, MotoGP is completely another story.

"At the ergonomics level, we are still very far to feel completely right on the bike, so we need a lot of work on that."

The Spaniard, who was only 21st fastest out of the 23 riders and two-seconds from Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, explained:

"I still don't fit well on the bike. In acceleration I need some more support to relax the arms, we spent most of the day with the rubber on the seat that slid and slid and slid, and we didn't understand why.

"Finally we found a solution there. So little by little, I'm going to find a better way to fit more on the bike, and we are going to try to start testing new settings tomorrow. Because today, with a lack of time, we didn't do anything on the bike. Little by little, patience, and everything will be better."

On the positive side, Lorenzo cited engine performance as the main improvement since he last rode the RCV at Jerez in November.

"Especially the engine, I think," he said. "The engine is more fast on the straight, and we are very pleased about that.

"I think Marc today was the fastest one in terms of top speed, so that's a good signal.

"We are losing in some areas compared to the other engine, we still need to study. But it's good that we have a strong engine, now we need to be strong on the lap time."

Looking ahead to the remaining two nights before he starts his first MotoGP event for Honda, Lorenzo said:

"Tomorrow I will be more free on the bike, a better fit, and we will start testing settings, so I guess we will be closer to the fastest one and we will be able to take more conclusions.

"Sure it would be much better without the injury, and to ride at Sepang and here at 100%. But it's like this, we can't change the past. Maybe it's better if it happens one and a half months before the beginning of the season than in the middle of the season."

Team-mate and reigning world champion Marc Marquez, who underwent shoulder surgery in December, was tenth fastest (+1.1s) with LCR's Takaaki Nakagami the top Honda in eighth (+0.892s).