Lorenzo finds secret to success in warm-up crash
Jorge Lorenzo found the secret for success that he needed to challenge for the podium in Sunday’s race in the most unlikely of places, when a fast crash during warm-up brought the moment of inspiration he needed to take on Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo struggled all weekend to find both the pace and the tyre option he needed to run at the front, only just pulling out a surprise performance in qualifying to secure a front-row start.
But, inspiration came at the eleventh hour when unforeseen circumstances forced him down a path that has so far been unfamiliar this season – using Michelin’s hard rear tyre.
“Sometimes a negative thing creates a positive thing,” Lorenzo said. “My warm-up crash made me do two laps before the start to try both bikes. Normally we just make one lap but because we wanted to check the crashed bike we made two. And I felt OK when I tried the first bike with the hard rear tyre.
“During the practice I didn’t like the feeling with the hard. When I tried the second bike with the soft, I didn’t feel the same. I felt the bike moving more in acceleration and braking, so on the grid it was difficult to choose because normally it’s difficult to decide in this situation to change at the last minute. But my instinct after the crash made me go with the hard.
“We were fast from the beginning, consistent, and I put everything on the track. In a very difficult situation where we expected to finish sixth or seventh, we were shown that a race can surprise you in a positive way and you finish second, very close to the winner.”
And, once again showing signs of typical Lorenzo brilliance after a difficult few rounds, he even conceded that despite his complaints last time out about teammate Rossi’s aggressive moves, he enjoyed the battle that went down to the penultimate lap.
“Nobody wanted to be passed, and
from the beginning Maverick, Marc and myself wanted to stay in the lead. We were very aggressive. I had fun in the first laps, then the race got stable and I didn’t have the pace with the full tank like Rossi or Maverick.
“But suddenly every lap I felt better, I could brake later and I could recover the gap to Maverick and Valentino. When I passed Rossi I started to lose the pace, so Rossi was able to stay behind and I knew he wanted to try in the last lap. I was lucky this time he made this mistake under braking, as I’m sure our fight would have gone to the last corner.”
Rossi held on to Lorenzo after he’d been passed, but made a mistake on the penultimate lap