2010 and 2012 MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon has spoken to motogp.com at length about his year so far and his quest to return to winning ways.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider’s tough start to the 2014 season was well documented and Lorenzo can now reflect on the opening rounds of the year with the benefit of several months’ worth of hindsight.
Looking back Lorenzo explained, “The problem with the hard tyre is that with our bike we need good corner speed to compensate for the disadvantages we have in acceleration, top speed or corner entry and we suffer when we can not have an advantage going through the corner. In addition, my physical condition at the beginning of the year was very bad because of the three surgeries I underwent in the winter and a lack of pre-season training planning. I started training later than normal.”
He continued, “On top of that, the bike was very unstable because of the changes to save one litre of fuel. The combination of these three things made me go from winning races at the end of last year to being one second off the pace in many practices, getting bad results and making mistakes. Everything went wrong, and those three things created a vicious cycle that affected our performance.”
Although he has not quite recaptured the blistering form of his championship winning years or the second half of the 2013 campaign, Lorenzo has recovered from that tricky period early in 2014 which saw him collect just 22 points in the opening three rounds – to now be regularly fighting for podium prominence.
The Spaniard picked out the visits to Barcelona-Catalunya and Silverstone as being key moments to rediscovering his regular rostrum performance level.
He stated, “What Yamaha brought on the Monday after the race in Barcelona were some parts which helped the engine to be smoother. Once we smoothed the engine delivery I could ride more comfortably, more constantly and faster each lap.”
“We did an incredible job at Silverstone,” he added, referring to his battle with Marc Marquez and his eventual second place finish. “It was nearly a miracle, but we had to work very hard with the set up of the bike. I think it was the weekend I worked the most with any team in my MotoGP career. Even in the Warm Up we continued finding solutions and in the race I was able to fight with Marc for the win. But it was down to the hard work we put in with the bike. Had we left the bike as we had it before, we would have probably ended further down behind than say fifth place.”
He noted positively, “I have never doubted of my potential or the team’s potential. I knew our problem was due to a combination of bad circumstances, but that does not mean that we have suddenly become losers or people who cannot do their job. This is temporary and because of professional and personal problems, mixed with bad luck, with bike problems, with tyre problems, with mistakes I have made, because we did not plan the pre-season well enough, because of a lack of physical condition. All together it was a bad period.”
“Some athletes, when they are in this situation, they just continue falling down and hit rock bottom, but fortunately not in my case. I think we will be able to win races again and that is what we are fighting for now.”