LORENZO LOSES GRIP

NO GAIN IN SPAIN World cham­pion de­nied chance of vic­tory as Valentino Rossi ‘does a Lorenzo’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - AT JEREZ MO­TOGP RE­PORTER simon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Jorge Lorenzo was left rue­ing what could have been in Jerez, af­ter prob­lems with his Miche­lin tyres left him un­able to do any­thing to stop the to­tal dom­i­na­tion of Sun­day’s race by his team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Con­fi­dent that he had the pace to get away with Rossi and to chal­lenge for the vic­tory, he suf­fered from ex­ces­sive spin from his rear Miche­lin and was forced to watch Rossi ‘do a Lorenzo’ by dis­ap­pear­ing off in the race.

He said: “Not mak­ing a good start made it dif­fi­cult in the open­ing stages of the race, and when I tried to get past Valentino and ride a lit­tle bet­ter at the front of the race, I braked a lit­tle too late. Rossi was faster in the first part of the race, and I lost him lit­tle by lit­tle.

“I started to re­cover some of the gap to him, but then the rear started to spin in a straight line on the cen­tre; some­thing I’ve never had hap­pen be­fore. I had to slow down, but I know that we could have won the race to­day.”

The tyre is­sue comes as yet an­other blow to Lorenzo’s ti­tle hopes af­ter a strong pre-sea­son that seemed set to de­liver an easy ti­tle de­fence. Im­me­di­ately at ease with the new tyres in test­ing, many of his ri­vals com­mented on how his smooth style would suit the high corner speed rub­ber.

But, as Miche­lin have con­tin­ued to ex­pand the op­tions avail­able, both as part of their devel­op­ment and as a re­sponse to Scott Red­ding’s tyre fail­ure in­ci­dent in Ar­gentina, Lorenzo has been one of those who seems less able to take a ben­e­fit from them.

De­spite his rocky start to the 2016 sea­son, he still re­mains very much in the ti­tle hunt. Now 17 points be­hind ti­tle leader Marc Mar­quez de­spite his Ar­gen­tinian DNF and his fel­low Spa­niard’s dom­i­nance last time out in Austin, Lorenzo was happy to leave Jerez a lit­tle closer to the man he sees as his main ri­val.

“Rossi crashed in Austin, which helped us. And now we have re­cov­ered four more points from Marc. I’m frus­trated with the prob­lem with the tyre but at least we closed down the gap. I’m also happy to have taken my 100th podium in Jerez. It means that I’m very con­sis­tent in Mo­togp, and I’m proud that only three other rid­ers have done it be­fore me!”

‘What now?!’ An­other DNF for Dovi but this time it was a failed water pump that sent him to an early bath

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