Sachsenring MotoGP: Luck swings back to Jorge Lorenzo

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 09 July 2012 08:36

Eight days after his luck deserted him in the historic Dutch TT at Assen, fortune swung back in favour of factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo in Germany yesterday.

Lorenzo was gifted back the lead in the world championship after Aussie rival Casey Stoner crashed out on the final lap while battling for victory with Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner’s error promoted Lorenzo into a fortuitous second place but he would have felt his luck had evened out after he lost a 25-point lead in the title hunt when Alvaro Bautista wiped him out at the first corner in Assen.

Lorenzo was still limping heavily throughout the Sachsenring weekend after the impact in the Assen smash damaged tendons in his right ankle.

The 2010 world champion though was strangely out of sorts and for the first time he has finished a race in 2012 he never seriously competed for the victory.

His failure to put more pressure on dominant Honda duo Pedrosa and Stoner was largely down to Bridgestone insisting he abandoned plans to race the softer option rear tyre and fit his YZR-M1 with the harder compound available.

Concerned by the severe chunking issue that hit Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies in Assen, Lorenzo heeded the advice.

But he said: “I took the advice of Bridgestone and we finished the race. I was very slow but we finished. To be honest this weekend we have not been very competitive and not fast in any practice.

"Bridgestone told us it was impossible to use the soft tyre. On the soft tyre I was 1.5s faster in the warm-up but they told me it was impossible to use because in the middle of the race there might be some problems and we may lose some pieces of the tyre.

"We chose the hard one and it wasn’t good and I wasn’t comfortable or fast and the only thing I could do was to try and open some gap between me and Andrea (Dovizioso). I make that but I have been lucky with the Casey crash.

"Without that we could have been maybe nine points behind. But we were very unlucky in Assen but the championship has changed again and some advantage has come back to us.”

Telling MCN his feelings when he saw Stoner in the gravel at the penultimate corner, Lorenzo said: “I didn't imagine all of this happening in one week. I didn't imagine to be quite so slow this weekend but also I didn't imagine that Casey would crash because normally he is a safe rider and in recent year's he hasn't crashed so much.

"It was a big surprise to see one orange rider and one orange bike on the ground in the last lap.

"At first I thought it was Dani but when I finished the race and looked at the big screen I knew it was Casey. 

"This means that my options for the championship are much better because Casey could not finish the race and by being second I recovered a lot of points."

For more news and views from the German Grand Prix, see the July 11 issue of Motor Cycle News.