Lorenzo off to a fast start

Lorenzo makes a fast start on Honda and Yamaha stars are happy at last


Jorge Lorenzo seems to be mak­ing a swift tran­si­tion from Du­cati to Honda af­ter his first out­ing on the RC213V at Va­len­cia. Still un­able to speak to the me­dia and rid­ing an un­liv­er­ied plain black ma­chine at the test un­til he is of­fi­cially out of con­tract, he fin­ished in 11th, less than a sec­ond off the pace set by Mav­er­ick Viñales and 0.673 be­hind Marc Mar­quez de­spite still rid­ing with the af­ter­ef­fects of a bro­ken wrist. Look­ing more com­fort­able from the out­set than he did on the Du­cati when he made the switch from Yamaha two years ago, the Spa­niard was able to make steady progress over the two days of the test de­spite con­tin­u­ing to re­cover from the in­jury he sus­tained when his Du­cati suf­fered a me­chan­i­cal prob­lem dur­ing prac­tice for the Thai GP. But while Lorenzo might have been sworn to se­crecy un­til Jan­uary 1, team-mate Marc Mar­quez was pleased with progress. Car­ry­ing much of the weight of Honda’s test­ing pro­gramme as Lorenzo learns the bike and with Cal Crutchlow ab­sent, he tri­alled a se­ries of new en­gines and frames.

He said: “It looks like step by step the prob­lem with the front tyre over­heat­ing is be­ing solved. The fi­nal day was the first that I was able to ride with the medium tyre. All sea­son it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to ride with it, and now we can ride with it all day.

“I haven’t checked Lorenzo’s feed­back yet but it is nor­mal that I was faster than him dur­ing his first days on the bike. Both of us want to win the ti­tle, but off the track we are team-mates, and I’m hop­ing that we’ll be able to work to­gether as we’re both pro­fes­sion­als.”

Honda en­gi­neers kit­ted Lorenzo’s new RC213V his cus­tom­ary thumb brake

Lorenzo’s not al­lowed to spill the beans on the Honda un­til the be­gin­ning of Jan

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