On the day that Valentino Rossi rode his historic comeback, on the other side of the Yamaha garage, Jorge Lorenzo can only lick his wounds. And yet, the warmup seemed to indicate that the Majorcan was not to be underestimated. In the race, however, the Spaniard was unable to keep pace with the leaders, finishing sixth.
“When there is not much grip and we use the hard tyres we struggle. As if that were not enough, the bike also becomes difficult to ride, because there is too much spinning, especially in the turns. At Motegi, the asphalt was different. In fact, we did not struggle. In these conditions, with the cold, we struggle a lot.”
In the warmup you were competitive.
“The temperature was similar to the warmup. I was lapping at the same times. When the tyre deteriorated, I was forced to slow down. I think that the Yamaha-Michelin combination did not work here.”
How much do you think your riding style influences?
“I have a fine riding style and braking hard does not come naturally to me. When it is too cold, like in Australia, everything is more complicated and so the problems multiply. Those with a more aggressive riding style like Rossi and Espargarò struggle less. With Bridgestone, on the other hand, it was the opposite.”
At Sepang it will be different.
“In Malaysia I don’t think there will be problems with grip and cold. There will be new asphalt and we’ll see how to adapt the bike.”
Does Michelin need to make an extra effort?
“Michelin is working on a front tyre to improve grip, but the rear tyre is also not the best. Something more needs to be done.”
In the Barcelona tests, we had good feedback from the hard tyre.
“At Montmelò we tried a tyre that had more grip, but from the races after Brno we have been struggling.”
Are you more concerned about the points you need to make up on Rossi or the ones Viñales is making up on you?
“I am only concerned about improving and thinking race to race. Fourth place in the Championship would be the same as my rookie year in MotoGP, the worst.”
At Sepang can you win?
“If the Michelins work, I can win in Malaysia.”