LORENZO FINDS HIS WET MOJO
Spaniard finally banishes his damp demons for podium finish
Five-time world champ Jorge Lorenzo went a long way to regaining his mojo in wet conditions during Sunday’s Malaysian GP, keeping his head while those around him lost theirs, to take the third step of the podium.
Struggling all season to find any pace in the rain, Lorenzo put himself in a position that allowed him to move steadily up the field to a result he admits was important to him psychologically.
He said: “I stayed on the bike even though it didn’t feel very good, and I was lucky because all the crashes happened in front of me and allowed me to pass from sixth to third. It’s good for my confidence to take a podium in these weather conditions. It wasn’t a spectacular race, but it was important for me.
“I don’t think it’s true that I’ve never been competitive in the rain. Probably this year with the Michelins I’ve struggled a lot, especially in the first two races to find some confidence in the wet. But in the past on Bridgestones, I won races, took pole positions and finished on the podium in the rain. I just needed confidence, and when you don’t have confidence it’s very difficult to be fast.”
Aided by the new asphalt at the Sepang circuit, which many riders said gave almost-unparalleled grip in the wet, Lorenzo’s return to form will be a welcome sign for new employers, Ducati. But while Lorenzo said afterwards that he did need the win to help boost his self-belief in tricky conditions, he also hit out at those who have been quick to write him off this year after he failed to take the title.
He said: “In Motogp it seems you are only as good as your last race - especially when it comes to me! People like to make a big thing of it when things aren’t good or when I’ve had a bad race. When I win or have a good result, these people never have much to say.
“That’s the way the sport is, though, and I can’t control people’s opinions. But like I’ve said before, when a rider doesn’t have confidence it’s very easy to be slow, but when you have it, like I’ve demonstrated in the past, you can be very fast in all conditions.”
Sepang should silence critics who say Lorenzo can’t cope with difficult conditions It might have been wet but there was no sign of Lorenzo trailing around at the back of the pack in Sepang on Sunday