Jorge Lorenzo’s hopes of retaining the MotoGP world title in 2011 suffered a major setback in Indianapolis yesterday when he limped home in a frustrating fourth position.
The Spaniard struggled with a severe lack of front-end grip throughout the 28-lap race and he goes into the final six races of the season trailing in-form Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner by 44-points.
Stoner captured his third straight win in emphatic fashion and Lorenzo said: “I’m highly disappointed. We saw so many riders with problems this weekend with the front tyre. (Marco) Simoncelli slowed down so much the pace, much more than us and Valentino (Rossi) never went quick.
"A lot of riders have problems and others had a good feeling on the front and no problems with graining. It’s difficult to understand, but it’s like this and hopefully because the next tracks have different tarmac it will be different.”
Lorenzo hoped a set-up change for the race would ease his problem but he told MCN: “We hoped that we solved the graining problem but instead I didn’t have any traction.
"When I make the warm-up lap I have more traction than qualifying, so I was very optimistic that we’d solved this problem. But it happened from lap seven and I couldn’t do anything.
"It’s a shame; I thought I could reduce my gap with Casey at Indy but since the first practice I have had many problems with the asphalt and the front tyre. I saw the other three front riders and their tyres were perfect.
"I don't know if it was because of the track and I’m not the only one complaining. Now the championship is much more complicated, but hope is the last thing you can lose.”
For more news and reaction from the Indianapolis MotoGP race, see the August 31 issue of MCN.