Motorcycle News (UK) - - SPORT -

Jorge Lorenzo has come away from his third week­end of ac­tion on Ducati ma­chin­ery con­fi­dent that he’s mov­ing closer to a fight for podium suc­cess af­ter strong qual­i­fy­ing in Texas.

The five-time world cham­pion took his best ever qual­i­fy­ing po­si­tion of sixth for the Ital­ian firm in Sun­day’s race and looked set to be on for a match­ing re­sult un­til prob­lems with tyre life cost him the chance to chal- lenge team-mate An­drea Dovizioso. Lorenzo even­tu­ally came across the line in ninth.

Lorenzo said: “Un­til I had front tyre prob­lems I was clos­ing down on Dovi, and my po­si­tion if I did not have grain­ing on the front tyre would have been sev­enth be­hind him.

“Then Ian­none caught me, made an ag­gres­sive pass on me, and I had to run wide at turn one, which cost me an­other two sec­onds that let Petrucci catch me and pass me too.

“But I’m happy, be­cause we gained two sec­onds of pace in the week­end and even­tu­ally fin­ished only 18 sec­onds be­hind the win­ner. That would have been 10 or 12, which is very pos­i­tive.”

But while Lorenzo will ad­mit that his cur­rent per­for­mances are still far from where he be­lieves they should be, there’s also light at the end of the tun­nel for him. With the se­ries re­turn­ing to Europe in only a few weeks’ time, he be­lieves that the fa­mil­iar tracks there will help pro­pel him back to the sharp end of the re­sults.

He said: “We need to be fight­ing for the cham­pi­onship, but for the moment this is not pos­si­ble. But we’re much closer to the other Du­catis and to the other com­peti­tors. Jerez will be dif­fi­cult be­cause it’s one of the worst tracks for Ducati, his­tor­i­cally, but you can never be cer­tain of any­thing in Mo­togp and it’s one of my favourites!

“We’re pro­gress­ing very quickly, and Le Mans could be a good race for me. It’s one of my favourites and it’s a good track for Ducati too, and I’ll be go­ing there with a free mind!”

‘We’re pro­gress­ing very quickly, and Le Mans could be a good race for me’ JORGE LORENZO

That’s more like it! Lorenzo finds his form at COTA

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