Lorenzo’s Du­cati de­but

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Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN SPAIN MOTOGP REPORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Jorge Lorenzo has stunned the Motogp pad­dock on his de­but ride on the Du­cati Des­mosedici he’ll pi­lot in the 2017 Motogp cham­pi­onship, af­ter com­plet­ing his first laps on the ma­chine at the post-sea­son Va­len­cia test last week.

The for­mer Yamaha rider made a mas­sive point through­out the two-day test, by be­ing first on track ev­ery day and one of the last in, com­plet­ing a gru­elling 126 laps as he works with the new team to find his way on his unfamiliar ma­chine.

And while he might have fin­ished the test down in eighth on the time sheets, he still man­aged to lap only 0.3 sec­onds slower than his best prac­tice time of the pre­ced­ing race week­end on the Yamaha – a clear warn­ing shot across the bows of his op­po­nents, espe­cially with Du­cati boss Gigi Dall’igna in­sist­ing af­ter­wards that their new rider hadn’t even pushed for a fast time.

“We are not re­ally happy about the lap time he set, but if a fast lap time was the tar­get then we would have worked in a dif­fer­ent way. We would have worked on the set-up of the bike more, given him the best feel­ing for one lap. We didn’t do that, so the time he did is the re­sult.”

But, with Lorenzo still banned from dis­cussing his new ma­chine un­til his Yamaha con­tract ends in the New Year, Dall’igna was full of praise for his new sign­ing. He is con­fi­dent that there will be no re­peat of the dis­as­ter Du­cati ex­pe­ri­enced when Valentino Rossi made the same move back in 2011.

He said: “I’m re­ally happy with the im­pres­sion he has of the bike. For sure, there are some good points and some weak points in com­par­i­son with his pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence, but I have a clear idea now of what he needs, and I hope that I can give him some­thing new for the next test. We have to im­prove the way the bike turns, but we know that – we’ve worked on that with the 2017 bike. Also, the first touch of when he opens the throt­tle is the worst point, and some­thing that we need to im­prove on.

“On the sec­ond day we did a dif­fer­ent job for him. On the first day he used only the 2016 bike, but start­ing from the sec­ond day he jumped onto the 2017 bike to make a com­par­i­son be­tween the two. Not only did he do a com­par­i­son with the bikes, but he also tried some other ma­te­ri­als that we need to sort out for the new sea­son.”

And while some in the Motogp world have used Lorenzo’s lack of con­fi­dence in wet con­di­tions this year to high­light his per­ceived in­flex­i­bil­ity as a rider, Dall’igna, a key part of Lorenzo’s two-time cham­pi­onship-win­ning Aprilia 250GP team, says that the test has shown just how much of a tal­ent the Spa­niard is.

“He is a cham­pion with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence, so I’m happy to work with him again. His im­pres­sion of what he wants from the bike and the set-up is re­ally clear, but we’ve only spent two days with him, and we need to spend some more time to learn how he works. “Ev­ery rider has a cer­tain style - but Jorge has a re­ally good one! For sure he has to change a lit­tle bit, and he has to learn some things about the bike, be­cause it’s some­thing that’s im­por­tant for the fu­ture. For sure we have to change the bike a lit­tle bit too, but I think he can learn and work out a good way to work with the bike.”

‘He is a cham­pion with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence. I am very happy’ GIGI DALL’IGNA

It’s a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence but Lorenzo looks to be learn­ing fast

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