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While An­drea Dovizioso was hav­ing a fairy­tale week­end at his home race, Du­cati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo had a much less suc­cess­ful week­end at a cir­cuit that he’s made his own in re­cent years, strug­gling to come to grips with the Desmo at Mugello.

Com­ing home eighth – the first time he’s ever been lower than sec­ond since his first podium at the Ital­ian track in 2008 – he ad­mit­ted that while they’ve made sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs with the bike’s set-up, he learned at the week­end that the process of adapt­ing his rid­ing style to it is still far from com­plete.

Los­ing his abil­ity to carry ul­tra-high cor­ner speed, which was pre­vi­ously his ma­jor strength on the Yamaha he con­firmed that that’s still where the squad will need to find some­thing to make the dif­fer­ence.

“I was over­taken six or seven times in the mid­dle of the cor­ner. I’m too slow to open the throt­tle and I’m too slow in the corners, and even if I try to change that I can’t take profit from the corners. And if I try to fix that, I lose too much on the en­try, espe­cially to hard brak­ers like Petrucci and Dovizioso.

“I’m a more com­plete rider than I was, but I prob­a­bly have the op­po­site rid­ing style to what the bike de­mands. I’m work­ing with my en­gi­neers to change that, but I de­cided to make this jump to Du­cati, I’m still mo­ti­vated, and we’ll fix the is­sues. But af­ter 20 years rid­ing the same way you can’t change it any eas­ier than you can learn a new lan­guage in a few days. It’s com­pli­cated and you have to ride the bike a lit­tle il­log­i­cally – the op­po­site way to the Yamaha.”

But there are still rays of sun­shine ahead for Lorenzo, with a ma­jor accomplishment com­ing for him in the open­ing laps of the race as he led for the first time since he crossed the line last year at Va­len­cia on the Yamaha, dic­ing with Valentino Rossi in the first min­utes of the race.

And on top of that, he be­lieves that this week­end’s race at Barcelona’s Mont­melò will bring more pos­i­tives for him, espe­cially af­ter a en­cour­ag­ing test at the Cata­lan cir­cuit ear­lier this month.

“I strug­gled at Mugello, and even in the test I was six tenths be­hind Pirro. It seems I re­cov­ered a lit­tle in prac­tice, but in the race the prob­lems in­creased. But there are pos­i­tive things, and maybe in Mont­melò ev­ery­thing will change for us in a pos­i­tive way!”

‘I’m a more com­plete rider than I was, but I prob­a­bly have the op­po­site rid­ing style to what the bike de­mands’ JORGE LORENZO

Lorenzo was left with plenty to pon­der

Lorenzo out front, but it didn’t last

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