Lorenzo & Rossi strug­gle,

Spa­niard mak­ing progress but says GP17 is not quick enough to be a win­ner at round one

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MOTOGP REPORTER IN PHILLIP IS­LAND si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Fol­low­ing an­other dif­fi­cult test at Phillip Is­land, Jorge Lorenzo has ad­mit­ted that he’s still a long way off be­ing ready to win races on the Ducati GP17.

Fin­ish­ing the three days in eighth, nearly a sec­ond off the times of Mav­er­ick Viñales, the five-time world cham­pion con­ceded af­ter­wards that his hopes of tak­ing vic­tory at the open­ing round of the series in Qatar next month are quickly di­min­ish­ing.

A track where both bike and rider have gone well in the past, Lorenzo was tar­get­ing the Mid­dle East­ern cir­cuit as one of the few this year where tak­ing race wins would be pos­si­ble – but with much still left to do, that’s now in doubt.

“We have very lit­tle time, just three more test­ing days be­fore the Qatar race. We couldn’t test the 2017 bike in Va­len­cia, which didn’t help. But that’s the sit­u­a­tion and now we have to do the max­i­mum with what we have.”

His prob­lems were com­pounded dur­ing the test by the ul­tra-fast cor­ners of the Aus­tralian cir­cuit and the still-lim­ited cor­ner speed po­ten­tial of his new bike. Con­sis­tently main­tain­ing his high cor­ner speed 250GP style through nine sea­sons at Yamaha – and play­ing a key role in de­vel­op­ing the M1 to suit him – he’s still strug­gling to adapt to the dif­fer­ent ap­proach needed on the Ducati.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult for me, be­cause they’re com­pletely dif­fer­ent bikes – they have the op­po­site way of rid­ing, the op­po­site way to take the maxi-

mum. For now, the Ducati doesn’t have cor­ner speed, so you have to brake for longer and be more ag­gres­sive with the throt­tle, more on and off. It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent, lit­tle by lit­tle I un­der­stand it, but I still need more time and more kilo­me­tres on the bike.

“Some­thing still isn’t right, and we haven’t dis­cov­ered some­thing that will al­low me to be faster both in the cor­ners and get­ting on the throt­tle. We don’t have the bike to best carry the cor­ner

‘We’re not at the level at Phillip Is­land to fight for the win’

JORGE LORENZO

speed, but Bautista is faster than me through most cor­ners, so we have to un­der­stand why that is.

“We’re not at the level at Phillip Is­land to fight for the win. We can be at other tracks, and we have to keep work­ing to make the bike more com­pet­i­tive at those tracks. We’re wait­ing for those tracks.”

How­ever, that’s not to say that all is lost for Lorenzo, who still man­aged to make sig­nif­i­cant progress dur­ing the three days, drop­ping his race pace by a whop­ping two sec­onds to at least take some crumbs of com­fort from the test

“At this mo­ment the times are not as im­por­tant as the feel­ing on the bike and un­der­stand­ing the most ef­fi­cient way to ride it. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but all things con­sid­ered I think that we fin­ished this test in quite a pos­i­tive way.”

The body lan­guage tells you all you need to know

Jorge’s 250GP rid­ing style doesn’t suit the Ducati – and it shows

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