Marc Marquez won another Grand Prix. After Misano, another double whammy victory in the Italian-Spanish back-to-back also in Aragon. The 7-time world champion defeated the competition all weekend long, confirming a supremacy that no one can stand up to. For a part of the garage that celebrates and toasts to a soon-to-be world championship title, there's another part that's in a totally different mood. Jorge Lorenzo ended his race at the Motorland (a circuit where he had won twice already) in 20th place with more than 46 seconds behind his team mate.
"I always try to do my best," Lorenzo said. "It's not important if it's for the first or the 13th position. My best right now is to fight towards finishing the race. In the first few laps today I had the best pace of the weekend, then the rear tire started to slip starting at the third lap, and it always got worse. I was overtaken by lots of riders, until I reached the last group. I know the distance between me and the best. My fastest lap is 2 seconds slower than Marquez's, and today I arrived 46 seconds behind the winner, like in Misano. I have to say that I felt more relaxed riding, but then I was forced to keep a slower pace."
Besides having problems with his rear tire, the pain caused by his spinal injury also affected Lorenzo. This is something Jorge has been living with for several months now and something he's trying to put past him.
"When an athlete still feels pain, he doesn't feel like taking risks. It's normal. We motorcycle riders greatly respect fear because we know that ours is a dangerous sport. Now, like in 2008, I feel the fear. It's not extreme, but it's there. I feel like a lucky rider who's having an unlucky time because of problems with the bike and injuries. I'm trying to improve, but risking for a tenth of a second wouldn't make sense.
However, it's clear by now that Honda is not the most suitable bike for Lorenzo's driving style which, apart from his injury, was struggling even in the first races of the season.
"Honda is a physical,rigid bike, designed to brake really hard and enter fast in corners. It's built around Marc and modified to meet his needs. For a clean rider like me, it's not an easy bike, but my injuries have conditioned me a lot. Before the injury, it wasn't going great, but I'd close at 14 seconds."
When did these problems start?
"In the 2019 bike, when looking for more power. Marc manages to benefit without losing too much in corners because of his riding style. I had already noticed something was wrong during the tests, but it was too late to fix it."
Are there any chances that these problems will be solved and that you can express yourself better?
"Honda is working to continue to have the advantage of more power by solving problems in corners. The team has always listened to Marquez in developing the bike because he was the fastest. I know I have to adapt, but I also believe that Honda is a great company with the potential to satisfy us both, not in all areas, but in something."
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera