Lorenzo: Wrong place, wrong time - I'm sorry

'The worst thing is I made the others crash. No apology is enough' - braking mistake by Jorge Lorenzo causes Catalunya MotoGP pile-up.
Lorenzo: Wrong place, wrong time - I'm sorry

Jorge Lorenzo went from excited to devastated as his best race for Repsol Honda turned into a shocking pile-up in Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP.

Without even a top-ten finish this season, Lorenzo gained six places on the opening lap, then tried to outbrake Maverick Vinales for third at the end of the back straight on lap 2.

Disaster struck when Lorenzo ran out of room on the entry to Turn 10, losing the front of his RC213V - which instantly turned into a torpedo that not only sunk title contender Andrea Dovizioso, but also the Yamahas of Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

Team-mate Marc Marquez, who passed Dovizioso for the lead at almost the same moment, was the only rider in the top five to emerge unscathed and went on to claim a comfortable victory.

"I made a good start, recovering a lot of positions, and I felt very good on the bike. Better than the rest of the weekend and I was recovering a lot on braking," began Lorenzo, speaking in the Barcelona paddock.

"Then in the previous acceleration, Maverick needed to close [the throttle] to not hit Marc, so I took advantage of this, using his slipstream and preparing an overtake.

"But probably I tried to overtake Maverick in the wrong moment, in the wrong place, especially.

"I knew this was a tricky corner, like the first corner at Austin, which is very similar. And I saw many crashes like this in all the categories, it happened to me also in 2016 with Iannone.

"So probably I was too excited, knowing that I was feeling good and I just felt that I could go faster and faster.

"I didn't make any crazy braking. I was more-or-less alongside Maverick and I braked quite normally, the problem was that we were too many riders [close together].

"In front was Dovi, who prepares very well the exit of the corner, with a wide entry. So I was getting closer and closer to Dovi and to not hit him I needed to brake more and the front tyre closed.

"I think the same moment, in another corner, would not happen. Also if I didn't try to overtake in that moment it wouldn't happen. So it was a combination of factors.

"Obviously the worst thing, more than my crash, is that I made the three others crash. Because they are fighting for the championship. I am not fighting for the championship, I'm very far, I don't have almost any points and it doesn't matter if I crash.

"I had made a good start, but I would love just to crash alone this time. No apology is enough in that moment. You need to say sorry, you need to apologise, but I understand that any apology isn't enough and it's a big pity.

"But in my favour I would say this type of corner created a lot of problems in the past, created a lot of problems today and will do again in the future."

Vinales, who has now been taken out of three races this season, was quick to call for a penalty, with Dovizioso similarly unimpressed. However Rossi and Marquez felt it was a racing incident.

"As always there are many opinions," said Lorenzo.

"My opinion is that this [design] of corner, hairpin, creates these crashes and we saw it many times. Probably today I didn't pay enough attention to that. Especially in the first laps when it's better to be a little bit more cautious in these type of corners.

"It was not an aggressive overtake, but the thing was that Dovizioso was in front - it was my mistake.

"I understand Maverick's reaction because in the past it has happened to me and I had a similar reaction to him. So I understand completely his reaction, I cannot say anything.

"Obviously I'm grateful that Valentino more-or-less said what I said. I also spoke with Dovi and he took my apology quite correctly but obviously no apology is enough.

"I understand all the reactions. I have had bad reactions or hard reactions in the past when it happened to me.

"This is racing. I'll try to learn the lesson for these types of corners in the future. I cannot change the past. Especially, I'm sorry for them."

Lorenzo said he had tried to apologise in person to all the other riders involved.

"I went firstly to Ducati. I saw Gigi and I apologised to him. Then I entered the box and apologised to Dovi.

"Then I went to Yamaha to try to speak with Vale and Maverick. They were not there and I spoke with Maio, the chief mechanic of Maverick and some more people. But I couldn’t speak with the riders."

The brutal finish obviously overshadowed what had been a promising performance for the troubled triple MotoGP champion.

"In general during the weekend we made a step forward. Even more in the race, I understood certain things that gave me more speed and more confidence and we are in a good way to make the bike better and especially make the bike better for me," said Lorenzo, the only Honda rider using soft tyres front and rear.

"So tomorrow we have many things to test and I'm sure some of them will give us something more. So, apart from what happened in the race, I'm very excited to think about tomorrow and test the new parts."

Marquez now holds a 37-point title lead over Dovizioso, while Lorenzo has dropped to 15th in the world championship.