Jorge Lorenzo admitted his decision to race Bridgestone’s hard compound rear tyre in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix was a mistake that cost him a second podium in 2014.
The Movistar Yamaha rider spent a one-day test session at Jerez assessing the softer option rear tyre, and his pace was faster and more consistent.
Only Tech 3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith and Spaniard Alvaro Bautista of the Factory riders raced the soft compound in the 27-lap Jerez race.
But Lorenzo now wishes he had after the double MotoGP world champion faded to a distant fourth to slip 65-points behind runaway series leader Marc Marquez.
Lorenzo ended the Jerez test, which took place in searing heat, with the second fastest time and his quickest pace of 1.38.999 was only 0.262s behind Repsol Honda rival Marquez.
Lorenzo said: “It was an interesting day and at least we could try the soft tyre to see if it is more constant than the hard one and it has been a lot more constant. I could keep 40.0 and 39.9 for a lot of laps and the last run of 27 laps I was doing those times and with a hard tyre it was impossible. It was interesting information for Le Mans and maybe we should concentrate on the soft tyre instead of the hard, as we normally do. This time we decided to go with the hard one and I think we made a mistake.”
Asked by MCN to explain the biggest different in performance between the two options, Lorenzo added: “Normally with the soft tyre you use it to make a fast lap in qualifying, so it is normal that you can make a 38.5 and then on the third or fourth lap lap it is much worse.
There is a big drop from the first lap to the third but then it keeps constant for a very long time. With the hard one you are quite slow in the first lap and then every lap slower with more problems. For our bike in this moment, the soft doesn’t create so much spinning, and you can control with the electronics to keep a constant pace.”
Lorenzo wasn’t the only Yamaha rider expressing regret that he chose to race the hard option Bridgestone rear tyre in Jerez.
Tech 3 rookie and reigning Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro was also bemoaning not racing the soft compound like teammate Smith did.
The Spaniard told MCN: “Today (Monday) was the day that we realised we were wrong in the race. That’s important to learn because having no experience in this category means we will make some mistakes. I tried the tyres I didn’t in the race and what I tried was much better for the tyres and the bike.
The lap time wasn’t so fast because I didn’t start until 1pm when the track was already very hot, but I am happy with my feeling on the bike. The soft tyre was so good. I don’t know if in the race if I’d used it would be better or worse but in the test I had the soft in the front and rear and did a very good rhythm with a good feeling on the bike that I didn’t have in the race. We improved but the race is gone. I was enjoying riding and during the weekend I was fighting with the bike a lot and I didn’t have fun and that is the most important when you are riding. If you have fun on the bike you are fast.”