Marquez spots Lorenzo strengths, Jorge seeks corner speed

'I followed Jorge, because this morning he was fast and I just tried to understand' – Marc Marquez, Spanish MotoGP.
Marquez spots Lorenzo strengths, Jorge seeks corner speed

If MotoGP champion Marc Marquez sticks in the wheeltracks of another rider in free practice, it usually means they are on his radar as a potential race-day threat.

And on Friday morning at Jerez the Repsol Honda star got a close look at not only Ducati's world championship leader Andrea Dovizioso, but also his own team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (pictured).

While Lorenzo hasn't been close to Marquez in the opening races, he has an excellent record at Jerez and high hopes for this weekend.

"I followed Jorge, because this morning he was fast and I just tried to understand," said Marquez. "I saw some strong points of good riding style, some weak points.

"The weak points I will not say! The strong points are he is able to go into the corner very fast. Already he was very fast here with Ducati but even with Honda he is able to go into the corner very, very fast. This is positive."

Told of Marquez's comments about corner entry, Lorenzo revealed he is actually far from comfortable in that aspect.

"It's true that especially here in Jerez I'm braking quite late, but in the braking I still don’t feel really comfortable," said Lorenzo. "I still make the corner too late.

"I would like to be able to stop before, to be able to lean before, finish the corner much quicker and exit faster. Make more corner speed.

"We're going to try some completely different settings and for sure some of them or one of them will give me something more."

The triple MotoGP champion added that he is also suffering from arm fatigue under braking, an issue that also hampered his Ducati form until a revised tank shape helped provide better bracing. His first Desmosedici wins soon followed.

"Still I don’t feel really comfortable on the bike, especially on braking," he said.

"I still suffer a little bit after some laps with the arms and I get a little bit tired. But we are getting it. The bike is competitive. I just need to find a way for me, for my riding, to take profit of it.

"The bike is very strong, has a very good engine. Yes, probably we lose in some areas compared to Ducati, but we are strong in others. It's a winning bike, it's a very powerful bike."

Lorenzo was second fastest to Marquez in FP1, but lost ground with ninth in the afternoon.

"I expected to be more competitive. This morning went very well, better than the test time with the medium tyre. In the afternoon honestly I had more problems to be competitive. I still need more experience with the setting of the bike for changing conditions on track, I struggle more.

"With the [second] bike we tried a completely different setting that didn’t work, so now we will start tomorrow with the same base as this morning.

"But we'll try a completely different setting again with the other bike, to understand if some different ways can give me some extra tenths that I need to get closer to Marc, who at this moment is the fastest and strongest one."

Marquez was second fastest on the combined Friday timesheets to Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, but quickest on the hard rear tyre.