AragonGP – Proof that there’s always time to bounce back on race-day!
Former MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has said his poor offseason cost him a chance of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, insisting he came back overweight.
Lorenzo endured a disastrous start to the 2014 season, a fall on the first lap in Qatar, and then an almost comical jump start in Texas, Lorenzo found himself over 50 points behind Marc Marquez, after just three rounds. A gap that would nearly double as the season went on as Marquez won a record breaking thirteen races in 2014.
Off-season surgery and therefore starting the season behind the eight-ball meant Lorenzo was struggling to ever seriously challenge Marquez.
“I was 4-5kg too heavy,” said the Mallorcan.
“I could still do up my leathers, but my stomach was a bit too big!”
Despite not starting the season well enough, Lorenzo took positives from his form in the second half of the season, which saw him the rider who accumulated the most points out of any rider since the paddock reconvened after the summer break. Lorenzo claimed 8 podiums, including two wins, in nine races after the summer break demonstrating the form more reminiscent of the Lorenzo of old.
“If the championship had started at Indianapolis we would be leading it. I know it doesn’t work like that, but it demonstrates that the beginning of our championship was a disaster and we lost a lot of points,” the 27 year old explained. “It should make us know that we need to be more ready and better prepared from the beginning of next year.”
Lorenzo’s second half of the season form didn’t just give him self satisfaction, it also impressed his Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis who acknowledged that a troubled off season meant Lorenzo spent the whole season playing catch up.
“Valentino was strong from the beginning of the season but Jorge was not as strong as he could and should have been. And of course he had two errors in the first two races which put him very much on the back foot,” said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis.
“If we look at the performance from Jorge at the end of last season – which was phenomenal after the collarbone breaks – he had surgery, he had some changes in his organisation and planning and I don’t think he will be doing the same things again next year.
“So I think a combination of things needed to be improved [at the start of this season] and Marc of course was sensational. So from the very, very beginning there was this incredibly high level.”
Indeed Marquez’ level was noted and appreciated by Lorenzo, who didn’t think Marquez’ mistakes came about in the second half of the season due to how closely he rides to the limit rather than down to nerves or pressure.
“I think he is a rider that risks a lot,” he said speaking about the double World Champion.
“And when you risk a lot you have more possibilities to make some mistakes, or to crash, or to get injured.
“So that is why he is very fast – he is very talented, he is very brave, but also he takes a lot of risks. Probably this year less than the first year. Last year there were a lot of crashes, this year less.
“But obviously he keeps pushing a lot and this gives you more possibilities to crash.”
Former MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has publicly apologised after his disappointing thirteenth place during the Dutch TT admitting he was scared to take the risks required.
The Mallorcan had qualified down in ninth position, but had managed to rise to as high as sixth position before he was came in to switch to the slick tyres on his second bike. He waited a couple of laps longer than the majority of the field to make the switch, and that saw him plunge down the order, forcing him to take risks if he wanted to climb back through the field. Risks he wasn’t willing to take after last years accident.
Lorenzo admitted he was happy in the fully wet conditions, and happy in the fully dry conditions, however he lost all confidence and became ‘scared’ of the bike in the slightly damp conditions whilst on the cold slick tyres, which saw him drop right down to seventeenth position behind the likes of Danilo Petrucci and Hiro Aoyama.
Last season Jorge Lorenzo suffered a broken collar bone when he had a violent, fast highside during a soaked Thursday practice, before heading home for surgery and returning to race, finishing in fifth position, just two days later.
“It has probably been my worst race in MotoGP. The worst finishing positions,” said a brutally frank Lorenzo, speaking after the TT in Assen.
“The bike worked well in the wet. The bike also worked well in the dry. But I was not confident enough. I was just scared at this track. When I saw the rain spitting in some corners I just didn’t want to take risks.
“So today has been 100 percent my fault. I was to apologise to the team, the people that work with me and the fans because I was unable to be brave, to be fast in these track conditions like the other riders.”
Lorenzo came through the lower field late in the race, managing to get into the points and up to thirteenth place, posting his fastest lap of the race on his penultimate lap of the race.
“It was a pity. In the dry we were competitive, but in these conditions it was my fault. Not being brave and not being competitive. Last year I made something impossible, this year was the opposite. I was the more scared rider.
“When I saw some spitting in some corners on the dry tyres I just didn’t want to take the risk to crash again and be injured again at this track. Probably the memory of last year was making me too cautious of the risks and too afraid to be fast. Every time I saw the spitting and felt the bike move a bit I got some flashbacks. In the last laps when it stopped spitting my performance was more acceptable, but not before.
“I’ve won races where you change the bike, but we don’t have many races in conditions like this, with rain on slicks. Today I was too scared. You have to admit it, accept it and try to find out why. Luckily these conditions don’t happen often.”
The race in Assen summed up Lorenzo’s season thus far, as he sits in fifth position in the World Championship, ten points behind Andrea Dovizioso and only 14 ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the open Yamaha. With no contract confirmed yet for 2015, Jorge Lorenzo will be hoping to get his season back on track sooner rather than later.
Marc Marquez showed the world why he is the reigning MotoGP champion with the Repsol Honda rider snatching the victory of the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar after a classic battle with Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi at the Losail International Circuit with Dani Pedrosa sealing another podium finish in third for the Repsol Honda team.
Jorge Lorenzo jumped into an early lead of the 22 lap race but the Movistar Yamaha rider looked to push his front Bridgestone tire too fast on the opening lap and violently lost the front end and ended his race while Stefan Bradl inherited the lead on the LCR Honda with the German rider making a great start with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith also very fast early on while Marquez was happy to stalk the leaders early on while Rossi was busy making up some place after start from the fourth row.
The battle with Valentino was the best part of the race besides the win, I really enjoyed it!
The factory Ducati machine of Andrea Dovizioso was going well in the opening laps as was the Pramac Racing machine of Andrea Iannone until he lost the front on lap 2 with Rossi now left to chase GO&Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. Behind these, Pedrosa was fighting with Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow in 7th and 8th early on. There was another sudden change for the lead on lap 8 when Bradl also lost the front on the same corner of Lorenzo and the race lead then handed to Marquez who had now passed Smith and the British rider was to fall further back in quick succession behind Bautista, Rossi and Pedrosa.
The race resumed a somewhat normal rhythm nearing the middle of the race with Rossi passing Bautista and then Marquez for the lead before he was re-taken by Marquez after just two laps while Pedrosa had now joined the group in 4th place. Making as many places up as he could was the NGM Forward Racing machine of Aleix Espargaro with the Open Class rider up to 6th place ahead of Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro on the second Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and Crutchlow. Scott Redding (GO&Fun Honda Gresini) was also having a strong debut race for his MotoGP career and was battling with Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden throughout the race.
The MotoGP™ season finale at Valencia’s Circuito Ricardo Tormo was an exciting contest, with Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo winning his third consecutive race ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
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