Jorge Lorenzo’s boss praises Yamaha improvement

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 22 June 2012 11:37

Jorge Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha boss Wilco Zeelenberg believes a vastly improved new YZR-M1 1000cc machine is the key reason for the Spaniard dominating the early stages of the 2012 MotoGP campaign.

It has taken only six races in 2012 for Lorenzo to better his victory tally in the whole of last season, with the Spaniard claiming four victories to lead Honda rival Casey Stoner by 25-points.

The 2010 world champion won only three out of 17 races last year on the final version of Yamaha’s 800cc YZR-M1, as Aussie Stoner dominated with 10 victories.

Zeelenberg doesn't believe Lorenzo is riding any faster than he did in 2011 and he told MCN: “It is clear that the bike has improved a lot compared to last year.

"The power characteristics are completely different with the 1000 but last year we struggled a lot and it wasn’t an easy bike to ride and the results reflected this. I think Jorge has the same speed as last year but now it is clear the bike is much better.”

Lorenzo has only dropped 10 out of possible 150-points up for grabs in 2012 and his stunning form continued last weekend when he led Stoner home in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Some thought Lorenzo’s high corner speed style that perfectly suited the 800 might not gel with the stop and go characteristics of the new generation 1000s.

But Zeelenberg said the 25-year-old has barely had to tweak his style to suit the more powerful 1000s.

He added: “He didn’t change a lot. He has the incredible skill to feel the forces on the ground through the tyres and understand how much grip there is available. His corner entry is not as fast as he was last year on the 800 but the exit is much better and still he is not riding in a stop and go style.

"He wants to use the forces from the tyres to turn the bike and because he is really good at it.”

Corner speed remains Lorenzo’s biggest weapon and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow have spoken frequently about how much faster he is entering the corner and at mid-turn than they are.

Zeelenberg said: “It is rolling speed that is his real strength, so he is able to do it for the whole race and even when the tyre drops. He tries to use the extra rolling speed he has to exit without using too much throttle to save the tyre. So if we have side grip we have a chance.”