The chances of Jorge Lorenzo adding victory in Sunday’s first Circuit of the Americas (COTA) MotoGP race to his opening round triumph in Qatar appear close to zero.
The Spaniard was no match for Honda trio Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl in yesterday’s opening two 45-minute practice sessions and he finished well over a second off the best pace.
The factory Yamaha rider logged a best time of 2.06.637 but he was 0.464s behind German Bradl and a massive 1.606s adrift of the impressive Marquez, who had topped the timesheets at the end of a private Honda and Yamaha test at COTA last month.
A lack of grip remains Lorenzo’s biggest issue and he said: “Marquez is very strong and Dani is not so far behind but Marc seems to have lot of confidence at this track. He seems even better than at the test. For the Yamaha riders it is still complicated to find good grip and confidence on this type of tarmac. We don't have confidence on corner entry, we don't have grip on the rear tyre and I enter the corners with some doubts. I don't have the same confidence as in other tracks."
Lorenzo had feared the worst before he even arrived in Austin for this weekend’s 21-lap race after he was outpaced by Marquez and Pedrosa during last month’s test.
And unless he could find big improvements for today’s final practice and qualifying, claiming a 25th premier class win was an impossible mission, according to the double MotoGP world champion.
He added: “In the test here I saw this gap and that this race would be very difficult for Yamaha riders. At the moment the gap is too big. I always believe that anything is possible but it is almost impossible with this bike and this setting. Maybe with another setting things can change but today it was almost impossible."