Jorge Lorenzo has come away surprisingly positive from what looks on paper to be a disastrous weekend for the new Ducati rider, after qualifying a distant 16th, crashing out of the race in the first corner, and heading into the third round with only five points on the board.
Candidly admitting after Saturday’s qualifying that he’s spent the entire preseason chasing the wrong direction on the GP17 machine, he now feels that he’s finally made significant breakthrough, and while he might not have got a chance to show it, he’s at last content with his Ducati pace.
“It was a long time ago since I didn’t make the first corner, and I’m disappointed because more than ever I needed to get kilometres and laps to keep improving. But we changed the ride height of the bike over the weekend and in the warm-up I felt very good.
“In the first corner though, I went to the inside, there was a lot of bikes there, and somehow I found the wheel of Iannone. I touched him just a little bit and I crashed. It was a bad moment, because there’s ten days until I can get on the bike again and I’d like to get back on tomorrow! It’s hard to accept, but at least I’m not injured and we’ve found a good way to continue.”
Making a major alteration to the bike after months of working in what he now accepts was the wrong direction, Lorenzo says that he not only believes like he could have been strong in the Argentine race but that he can get the season kicked off in style in Texas in a few weeks’ time.
“Every time I ride the bike I improve so much. I made a mistake trying to make the bike lower, but it was the wrong way. We were late to know it, but it’s better late than never. I think that with a good start and no problems in the first few laps with Bautista for fourth or fifth – that was my place.
“Let’s say now that my championship will start in Austin. Qatar was a disaster and I was lucky to finish 11th, and my race in Argentina doesn’t even exist.”