Lorenzo salvages second despite tyre choice

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo endured a treacherous ordeal to take second in this afternoon’s Grand Prix of Malaysia.

The Championship leader took the holeshot from pole on the wet track with closest rival Dani Pedrosa in pursuit less than half a second behind. Lorenzo maintained his lead until just before the last corner on lap nine where Pedrosa was able to pass. The rain increased at this point making riding extremely difficult for the entire grid, Lorenzo himself miraculously saving a near fall into turn 15. The red flags were eventually brought out to halt the race on lap 13 after a number of riders fell in the treacherous conditions. The second place finish means Lorenzo moves on to the final two races with a 23-point lead in the Championship.

Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies had dropped three places from the start grid, working hard to avoid another rider spinning off the line. As a result he went into the first corner in ninth position, then dropping to tenth on lap three. The Texan then found an impressive race pace matching the front runners and looked threatening to move up the field until disaster struck on the eighth lap as he became one of the many victims to fall in the incredibly slippery conditions. The DNF means Spies heads to the final two races of the season remaining on 88 points in tenth position.

Jorge Lorenzo

“If we were riding at 20km per hour it is easy to stay on the bike but it is very difficult to find the limit in these conditions. They made the right decision to stop the race, for us it was great because we might otherwise have finished on the ground and crashed. We used the soft rear where Dani and Casey used the harder one. When the conditions were ok they used less of the centre of the tyre so when the conditions became worse they had more to play with.”

Ben Spies

“What a shocking race, the water on the track was incredible. I’m really sorry for rubbing into Nicky, I thought I had enough space to brake; I’m relieved we didn’t go down together and he was ok. It was a close one at the start as well, Dovi spun off the line and we were lucky not to make contact. That was one of the wettest races I’ve had in a long time, my shoulder’s really sore from the fall but thankfully nothing too serious so I’ll be able to ride in Australia.”

Press release courtesy of Yamaha Factory Racing.

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