Lorenzo almost like Lorenzo, the Majorcan set a best of 1’31”9 during testing at Misano today, a fraction of a section from his own lap record, a 1’31”868 that he set in 2016, while riding the Yamaha. Jorge hasn't just focused on quality but also quantity, completing 72 laps on the Desmosedici as he prepares for the San Marino GP.
“I feel better every time I get on the bike, I gain experience and can bring it closer to the limit. I was able to lap with very fast times if we consider the track conditions and the heat, both on used and fresh tyres. I don't think any Ducati rider has ever set a 1’31”9 at this track. it's interesting and I think we've found a good base for the race”.
Will the red bike be back to winning ways at Misano, having not triumphed at its home track since 2007.
“It can all change from one day to the next, today went well but in 3 weeks it could all be different. The important thing is that I'm in really good shape right now”.
And the Ducati has revealed almost all its secrets.
“When you race with one bike for many year, you can really exploit it, but you also take on vices that make it hard to be fast if you change. There is a big difference between the Yamaha and the Ducati, hence I needed more time to be strong but once I understood certain things, I was as fast as in the past”.
Now he can fight on equal terms with the best, and perhaps even think about the title.
“I think Marquez is the clear favourite, not only in terms of points but also his consistency. We have had some tough races, like Assen and Sachsenring, and there's one track where we will suffer - Phillip Island - but at the others we have the potential to fight for at least a podium. My aim is to win as many races as possible and fight for second in the standings. The title is not impossible, but it is difficult. I want to take it race by race”.
Crutchlow recently said that Lorenzo will miss the Ducati when he gets on the Honda.
“Cal would know, he always complains about his bike. He should work more on himself, rather than always talking about the bike” he replies.
There is one thing Jorge will miss next year.
“Ducati is a big family, the fans are proud of the brand and have a lot of respect for the riders, I will miss these things from a human point of view. As for the technical? The engine, power and stability in braking”.
Lorenzo may have set the reference but Dovizioso also leaves Misano happy. He completed 90 laps, setting a best of 1'32"5.
“I completed many laps because I wanted to draw some comparisons and today the comparisons were great, almost too good. Times were fast, but it's best not to focus too much on those”.
Andrea says it as it is.
“Fortunately some of our rivals were also testing and so we could really compare, though Marc was not there. We were quick, we didn't have anything new to test but it was a nice surprise to head out on track and have the best sensations I've ever had here. We were able to work on the small details and so I'm happy. It's further confirmation of the improvement we've seen in our bike and I head to Silverstone feeling confident”.
The Yamaha riders also put in the work, Valentino completing 86 laps and Vinales 95. The pair prepared for the race and tested some new electronics setups, though there were no new components in the garage.
Work in the Aprilia camp was equally intense, with Aleix Espargarò testing engine updates that had been tested by Redding during the morning.
Michelin provided riders with a new front tyre but it failed to receive positive feedback during this test.
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) 1’31”9
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’32”5
3. Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1’33”1
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’33”2
4. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 1’33”4
5. Aleix Esparagarò (Aprilia) 1’33”5
6. Scott Redding (Aprilia) 1’33”8