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An injured Jorge Lorenzo surprised even himself as he led the opening day of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan.
Just before flying to Motegi, Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo suffered a slight shoulder injury and the MotoGP™ title contender was unsure of how he would fair at the highly demanding Japanese circuit. Lorenzo pushed hard in both sessions, able to set the fastest time in both FP1 and FP2. His FP2 time, the fastest of the weekend so far, was a 1’44.731 which put him over 0.8s clear of his title rival and teammate Valentino Rossi. Once again Lorenzo looks to have the edge at this early stage, but as shown in Silverstone and San Marino, anything can still happen.
Lorenzo’s pace is strong not just over one lap, but the Mallorcan is also able to string together solid sequences of 1’45 and 1’44 laps. If times remain as they are, Lorenzo could leave Japan with the gap to the top of the championship drastically reduced. While there are no major impacts caused by Lorenzo’s shoulder, he does feel he could be faster if he was at 100% fitness. His Movistar Yamaha team have a clear plan on how to continue to improve on Saturday.
Jorge Lorenzo: “It was a surprising day, because I didn‘t expect to be so competitive, especially in the morning. I expected to improve little by little, but starting from the first run I was the fastest rider and I improved even more on the last outing, so I finished first in the morning and the afternoon. The bike is going better than last year and we have a great setup. Obviously my shoulder isn‘t perfect, but even with my shoulder in this condition I‘m still able to ride and be quite consistent. I believe that with normal physical conditions I could have been even faster, but there‘s no point in thinking about what could have happened. It‘s better to focus on the current situation and take the maximum profit. For tomorrow we still have a margin to improve the bike to suit my riding. I hope it won‘t be raining on Sunday, so let‘s hope the weather forecasts improve.
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