Jorge Lorenzo said he was delighted to quickly shrug off the disappointment of his Australian MotoGP disaster, the Spaniard bouncing back in impressive fashion in Sepang today.
Lorenzo’s world title hopes suffered a crushing blow at Phillip Island when he crashed out at the first corner, gifting Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi a commanding 38-point lead in the world championship with just two races remaining.
Lorenzo though returned in strong fashion today, the 22-year-old clocking a best time of 2.02.180 to edge out Casey Stoner by just 0.064s in a typically sweltering hot Sepang.
Riding with a damaged little finger on his right hand, Lorenzo said the problem was causing him some discomfort on the long and fast Sepang circuit. “When I’m braking and I have to push hard on the lever, I feel a bit of pain.
"The problem is the pain is constant,“ said Lorenzo, who has won four races in 2009.
Lorenzo though was happy with his riding this afternoon and he added: “I am riding quite aggressive and I feel good on the bike.
"I have a lot of hopes for this race, but as all the races, the other riders are pushing very hard and they are in a high level.
"So to beat them is always difficult, even when you ride at the maximum level.” Lorenzo also said he wouldn’t read too much into team-mate Rossi finishing only fourth quickest on the opening day.
Rossi was 0.684s slower than Lorenzo but the Italian only has to finish fourth in Sunday’s 21-lap race to clinch his seventh MotoGP world title.
Lorenzo said: “I think he was the only rider who didn’t use a soft tyre, so it doesn’t matter.”