There was no shortage of excitement for Jorge Lorenzo on Saturday. FP3 brought joy when #99 gained direct access to Q2 and annoyance following the misunderstanding with Marquez, who in turn called for the Majorcan to be penalised.
“I'd already set my fastest lap, then I cut turn one and so my time was cancelled. I tried to stay off the racing line but unfortunately marc found me in front of him. He wants me penalised? These things happen in tense moments, it's difficult to pay attention to everything going on around you, sometimes you do these things, and sometimes they are done to you. I don't want to fuel controversy, these things happen and I believe race direction to be totally impartial.”.
Then came qualifying, which left the Spaniard only partly satisfied.
“There was not much grip today, particularly in FP4 and qualifying, so I wasn't able to replicate the times I set in the morning, also due to an incorrect change made to the set-up. I expected something more, but I think I've taken a step forward anyway, I feel faster and more aggressive”.
Focus now turns to the race and #99 has one clear goal.
“I can score a better result than in previous races with the base we have. Anything can happen in the race but my realistic goal is top ten, and then I'll work to improve during Monday's test. it will be very hot tomorrow, I hope the new tank and other modifications help me to better manage my energy and be fast all the way to the line”.
He also doesn't rule out the possibility of using the soft tyre at both the front and rear, contrary to many other riders.
“Last year 90% of riders went with that, the asphalt and grip levels are different this year but for now it's my preferred option, I feel more confident but we'll look at the other combinations during warm up”.
Jorge remains positive and combative. He admits to studying the other Hondas, but without focusing on any one in particular.
“Nakagami's style is similar to mine? he uses another bike, which has its pros and cons. This year's bike has greater potential, we can improve in various areas. I'm studying all the Honda riders anyway, starting with the fastest, or rather Marc”.
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera