Perfect, impeccable, magnificent. All words to express the same concept, as well as the ideal adjectives with which to describe Jorge Lorenzo's race today. The Majorcan's third win of the season was a gem, Jorge admitted that it was extremely hard-earned. “I don't know whether the tension of the race has cost me a few years of my life, definitely a few months, but it was worth it. One of the best wins of y career, but not the best, with Ducati my first at Mugello was special. My best pass today? The one at the penultimate turn, as well as the decisive pass around the outside”.
The Spaniard once again adopted a great strategy, something that has perhaps been missing at time, during his Ducati adventure, and has demonstrated significant personal growth on board the Desmosedici.
“I had a calculated strategy. I let Marc pass two laps from the end in order to relax and then push on the final lap, knowing I could make the most of my better traction to attack him at the penultimate turn. He was strong through turn three though and passed me there several times; the final time he closed the door, leaving me room around the outside, so I was able to accelerate and surprise him before pushing to the line. If Dovi had passed me, it would have changed the race, I knew he was close and I controlled that up until a certain point, after which I focused on Marc”.
Once again tyres played an important role. Jorge went out on track with a different solution to his rivals, a decision that paid off.
“The soft rear was a great choice, but I had to manage it considering the heat of course. I've learned a lot about tyre management, Brno was the final step and it's not necessarily the case that the soft drops off more at the end, it depends on riding style. The big improvement I made here was through the third sector, where I was losing yesterday; yesterday evening I tried to work out what to change and the situation improved today, I was able to catch Marc. I tried to manage the first part of the race but not too much as Marc was pushing hard, I waited for the right moment, when I saw he was starting to lose. Once I passed him, Marc stayed right there, it was a real battle to the line”.
The Majorcan wasn't put off by Marquez' flying start, something a little unusual
“Marc doesn't usually push at the start but today he could do so, I'd been checking his pace and knew he could lap in 24”2 or 24”3. Grip dropped after the Moto2 race though so he couldn't do those times for long and that allowed me to remain about half a second away for a few laps, it wasn't comfortable but in doing so I could conserve the tyres”.
As for the championship, the gap to Marquez remains a very big mountain to climb.
“It would have been better if Marc had finished further back, it's difficult to catch him. We can definitely fight for second place, Valentino is close and Dovi just a point behind; we want to learn and have fun right to the end, fighting for podiums and wins. Without the pressure of fighting for the title, the mentality is different. It's a pity we had ergonomic issues at the start of the year, and some bad luck, but I want to make the most of the current situation and see where we can end up”.
In conclusion, Jorge has one eye on the future and one on the past.
“The hardest thing for a sportsman is to reinvent yourself and learn to do things differently. With Ducati, I was almost obliged to do that and, in the end, I did it. This marriage will be remembered as a strong one, two passionate years with highs and lows, a part of my heart will will always be that of a ducatista. The manufacturers have leveled out, in 2019 Marquez will have an advantage over me in terms of experience, like Dovizioso in 2017”.