Lorenzo downplays testing crash

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Jorge Lorenzo has played down his crash in the closing stages of this week’s second pre-season test at Phillip Island. The Movistar Yamaha racer was one of a number of racers to fall in the closing stages of the day as temperatures dropped at the costal track.

A combination of a cold breeze and mid-afternoon rain left the track temperature at it’s lowest point of the test, and as riders pushed both to set a fast time and to try Michelin’s new harder compound front tyre, crashes were almost inevitable.

However, after the low speed tumble at Lukey Heights, among the slowest parts of the high-speed circuit, the reigning world champion was quick to dismiss the crash.

“My crash was just putting in too hard a tyre for the conditions.  We didn’t have any crashes for the riders until the last few hours, but after the morning rain the track was never the same; we wanted to go faster and faster but the track was cold. We went with an old hard tyre, and it was too much for the conditions of the tarmac.

“The tyre has improved since the first time we tried it last year, but as the number of crashes demonstrates, Michelin still need to improve. We still have some work to do.  The rear tyre is good though – I like it a lot! It offers the riders good grip. But there’s till work to do on the front.”

However, despite both the crash and the mixed conditions that saw intermittent rain halt proceeding on numerous occasions, team boss Massimo Meregalli says that the squad are leaving Australia content with their progress.

“Overall we can be quite satisfied with the work we have done, if you take into account the little amount of testing time that was available over these last three days. The only glitch was Jorge’s crash, most likely due to the cold conditions.

“Though we had some mixed weather and again weren’t able to put in many laps, we completed most of the work that we had planned for this test. We came here with the imperative to decide on which bike we would start the season with.

“When the track dried in the afternoon we were able to make a comparison between the two models and chose accordingly. We are confident we will be ready for more testing in Qatar in a two weeks’ time.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer