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16 days ago

Lorenzo: “If we have speed like Sepang, we can challenge”

The five-time World Champion tells MCN he can bid for the title if his record-breaker in testing is representative

MCN is reporting that Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) can challenge for the 2018 MotoGP™ World Championship, and Lorenzo himself tells the paper that if his speed is similar to that which he showed during testing at Sepang, he believes he can. The Majorcan put in the fastest ever lap of the Malaysian venue on the third day of the Official Test, getting down to a 1:58.830 and the only man under the 1:58 barrier - saying it wasn't even a perfect lap. But with experience – and three premier class World Championships under his belt – Lorenzo also says it’s impossible to predict who can take the crown, and that it’s more a case of who can challenge.

What do the riders think about Lorenzo's flying lap at Sepang?

“You can’t predict something like winning the Championship. To win a world title you need a lot of things to go right,” the Ducati rider tells MCN. That caveat , however, leads to guarded optimism: “But if we have the same speed as we had at Sepang, then for sure we can challenge for it.”

That echoes the thoughts of Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi, who also believes that both Ducati riders can challenge for the crown this season – and told that the steps forward made by the Borgo Panigale factory over winter are good, but there’s more to come at Buriram when the second Official Test begins on February 16th.

Even before we get to that next test, Lorenzo is already positive about development over winter and echoes that to MCN: “The bike is working and it’s giving me a good feeling. It’s improved in a lot of areas compared to the old bike and I already feel better on it. The areas where it’s stronger really suit my riding style – there was always an understanding that the bike needed to improve in some areas for me to get the maximum from it and we can’t be much happier than where we are now.”

So it’s all eyes on Buriram as a new venue joins the calendar, and all eyes on Ducati to see what further developments make their debut in Thailand.