Bad luck is a term Lorenzo cannot avoid using when looking back at recent months. The scaphoid he fractured during training proved to be a particularly cold shower, just prior to a season that marks his move to Honda. Jorge thus found himself battling to get back in shape, while missing out on key test days with his RC213V.
“I was quite fast during testing, but there is still a lot to understand” he reflects.
This doesn't mean he's pessimistic but rather realistic. In addition, his first days aboard the Japanese bike have already provided the Majorcan with one important assurance: “I think it will be easier to adapt than with the Ducati, and I hope that year two goes significantly better for me."
Now all he can do is wait for his wrist to heal properly and for his experience to grow. Lorenzo hasn't come to Qatar to make up numbers though.
“I don't feel bad on the bike, I don't think I have any big limitations, but I definitely need another month to regain strength and mobility. Every day, my condition improves and that's important”.
Good but not great, and for now he lets the spotlight shine on his rivals.
“I'm not the favourite nor am I in that group, but I can't count anything out, because anything might happen, both positive or negative. Having said that, there are 4 or 5, if not 6 riders ahead of me right now.".
Many view this championship as the most competitive of all time, if we consider the playing field.
“We say that every year but this year it might be true - he smiles - On the one hand, riders become increasingly professional and dedicate more and more time to their preparation, on the other hand the bikes improve too. I think that, right now, a rider with the right motivation can win a race with any of the bikes on the grid, though fighting for the title is another story of course”.
Lorenzo's final words concern the arrival of Freddie Spencer as head of the stewards.
“I don't know him personally but he seems very self-assured and gives me confidence. I think he'll do a great job because, as a former rider, he can understand our point of view”.