Spa­niard fi­nally ban­ishes his damp demons for podium fin­ish

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - IN MALAYSIA MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

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