How Lorenzo ruled in Qatar
Lorenzo’s commanding victory in Qatar will no doubt give his rivals some sleepless nights before the second round of the championship in Argentina in two weeks’ time. The 28-year-old Spaniard’s ability to exploit the new Michelin tyres and control the electronics meant he delivered a smooth-riding masterclass in the closing stages of the race.
And, perhaps even more telling about how well the Spaniard has gelled with the new French tyres, he even revealed after the race that he had taken the unusual decision of ignoring the advice of his tyre technician. ÒHE wanted me to use the hard tyre,ó admitted Lorenzo, who ended up instead using the soft rear option alongside a harder front. Òbut my decision probably helped me win.ó
Òtheoretically, a soft tyre should be worse at the end of the race, but this time it was the opposite Ð it got better and better! Not without sliding, because I was sliding so much at the end of the race even if I looked smooth Ð but every time I braked, I could brake later, as well as opening the throttle earlier. So the speed I could get in the last few laps was impressive.ó
Lorenzo’s pace was good enough to blow away Casey Stoner’s long-standing lap record from 2008. And even more ominous is the fact that Lorenzo set that best time on lap 20 of the race.
And with that success comes the reality for his rivals that the new tyres and electronics may just suit Lorenzo even more that the outgoing Bridgestones and full factory ECU.