Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Zeelenberg: ‘Lorenzo has proven he is back’

Zeelenberg: ‘Lorenzo has proven he is back’

Wilco Zeelenberg is sure that Jorge Lorenzo has now fully recovered from the difficult times which resulted in a poor start to the 2014 MotoGP™ season. At Mugello on Sunday, the two-time premier class World Champion battled hard with Marc Marquez to finish directly behind the victorious championship leader.

Over the opening five rounds of the season prior to Mugello, Lorenzo – who lost out on last year’s title by just four points – had scored only a single podium finish, in Argentina. However, following a number of changes both on and off the track, the Mallorcan overtook Marquez on numerous occasions as the duo contributed to what quickly became one of the sport’s most memorable duels in Italy last Sunday.

"Jorge has proven to be back, but we’ll have to wait for the rest of the season (to see to what extent) and Marc is also very strong," Zeelenberg, Team Manager at Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, explains to "I think Jorge has retained his confidence and we have improved many small things. Also, this track is very suitable for his riding style, so let’s see (if it is the same in Barcelona), but he is very capable of giving a good show and we are very happy about that."

Asked how Lorenzo has moved back towards the front, the Dutchman replied:

"It was a bit of a combination. He felt very comfortable with the bike. Already in Jerez and Le Mans, he already felt a lot better than the races before, so we expected more in those races; as he also said there, he could feel we were improving but he didn’t yet have the confidence to battle with the front guys. When you lack performance it costs a lot of points, so that is obviously the disappointing thing from the first few races.

"He also felt we made the right steps: with the bike, with the electronics and with his physical condition – he had had a few operations over the winter and was not fit enough. Especially, though, he was not able to control the bike how he wanted and he could do that for ten to twelve laps…so to put those bikes on the limit for race distance, which is 45 minutes, is something he just could not do.

"I think he now feels much more convinced that he can do that again because we adjusted the bike in his way, especially for the new tyres and the new rules."

The next race, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, marks a home event for the likes of Lorenzo, Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. The seventh round of the season will also mark what is the start of the second third of the 2014 World Championship.

MotoGP, 2014, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Other updates you may be interested in ›