O TO HERO

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and the tyre drop means you can stay more or less with a sim­i­lar pace for the en­tire race.”

Per­haps even more telling than Lorenzo’s late race pace and a new lap record on lap 20 of 22 was Marc Mar­quez’s com­ments af­ter the race.

Strug­gling since the be­gin­ning of win­ter test­ing with the lack of front end feel­ing from the tyres, es­pe­cially when paired with his ul­tra-ag­gres­sive and late brak­ing style, the dou­ble world cham­pion ad­mit­ted af­ter the race that he was able to re­turn to his pre­vi­ous tac­tics once the field went rac­ing.

“I think you can see from the TV that my rid­ing style hasn’t changed a lot. I’m push­ing a lot on the en­try, slid­ing, and I’m brak­ing the same or maybe later than Bridge­stone. Maybe I’m right on the limit, but if I don’t ride like this I can’t stay with th­ese rid­ers so I didn’t change a lot.”

That mark of ap­proval from the top men in the race meant that, de­spite the crit­i­cism taken by Miche­lin since the first of­fi­cial out­ing back in Novem­ber, Gou­bert heads on to Ar­gentina a very happy man.

“This is our first race af­ter seven years away, and this has been a very pleas­ing re­sult for us.

“The lap record by Jorge Lorenzo on lap 20 and the whole race be­ing faster by more than seven sec­onds over last year’s, with the same con­di­tions, has been a con­fir­ma­tion that we are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

“We are thrilled with this re­sult and with the im­prove­ments we have made through the win­ter.”

Marc Mar­quez proved you should never write him off An­drea Dovizioso im­pressed in se­cond

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