Jorge Lorenzo’s engine concerns eased

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 10 July 2012 11:47

Jorge Lorenzo’s fears that he might have to miss practice sessions or cut back on track time later in the 2012 MotoGP campaign have been calmed by his factory Yamaha squad.

Lorenzo lost a nearly new YZR-M1 motor when it blew up after Alvaro Bautista took him out at the first corner in the recent Dutch TT at Assen.

The destroyed motor had less than 130 miles on it and Lorenzo was worried that that he would have to miss some practice sessions or limit the number of laps completed over a weekend to avoid taking an extra engine over the six he is allocated at the start of the season.

If Lorenzo were to have to use a seventh engine then he would have to start a race from pit-lane.

But Yamaha technical staff and Lorenzo’s crew chief Ramon Forcada have carried out thorough calculations and told the 2010 world champion that he won’t need to be restricted on the amount of time spent on track in practice and qualifying.

Forcada told MCN: “We have calculated all the mileage and although we have to be very careful, we don’t have to miss any practice sessions or cut the number of laps.

"On paper we are able to finish the championship with five engines. It is going to be on the borderline but always with the Japanese there is some margin.

"Now we have to use this margin but for now it is no problem to finish the season without taking any extra engines. We don’t even need to shorten the number of laps.”

Forcada though did predict that to manage the mileage that Lorenzo’s mechanics could be making engine changes almost after each session towards the end of the championship.

He said: “Maybe at the end of the season we will be forced to use one engine for FP1, a different engine for FP2, qualifying and the race depending on the mileage of each one. We might have to change one engine just to do 10 laps at the end of the season.”

Yamaha still has the option to modify the YZR-M1 engines that have not yet been sealed for Lorenzo to extend mileage.

But Forcada said at the moment that wasn’t an avenue Yamaha needed to explore and he added: “This could be an option but at the moment no because we shouldn’t need to do this. I don’t know what is the possibility to increase the mileage or what the cost would be involved.

"Maybe we can change the mileage but changing one part that costs 1000 Euros is perfect but if we are needing to spend a lot of money to get 200ks more is difficult.”