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Tyre performance and management will be critical in battling for victory at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.
It all came down to the last lap of the Australian GP, Jorge Lorenzo unable to hold off a hard charging Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and forced to settle for second. Fortunately, Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi finished off the podium and the gap in their championship battle was reduced to just 11 points. All Lorenzo can do is win the next two races and hope that his teammate finishes lower than second, if Phillip Island proved anything it’s that the likes of Marquez and Iannone may become Lorenzo’s greatest allies. Sepang is one of the few tracks that Lorenzo has not claimed victory at in the MotoGP™ class but the Mallorcan is eager to change that regardless of weather conditions.
With his second place finish in Phillip Island, Lorenzo was also able to help Yamaha claim the Manufactures title, as such regardless of who win the riders championship, the Movistar Yamaha team will have done the elusive ‘triple championship’ winning the riders title, Manufacturers title and Team title all in the same year. Lorenzo was overjoyed to be a part of such a monumental achievement and break Honda’s grip on the titles. A strong result in Sepang will hopefully set Lorenzo up well for the final fight in Valencia.
Jorge Lorenzo: “First of all I would like to congratulate all the Yamaha family after achieving the second title of the season in Australia. I‘m very proud of all the team members and the engineers who made this possible by working really hard in Japan during the whole season. Phillip Island was an extremely exciting race and the results finally weren‘t too bad considering our main rival finished fourth. Now we face the Sepang race, a complicated racetrack because of the extremely hot temperatures and humidity. I think there the key to fight for the victory will be the tyre performance and I think we‘re in with a shot for the win again. The main goal is to cut some more points from Valentino‘s margin and I will try to arrive to Valencia with a smaller disadvantage. I feel strong and look forward to racing in Malaysia.”
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