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After two days on the black-liveried Desmosedici in the Valencia test as he prepared to make the switch from Yamaha to Ducati, Jorge Lorenzo wore red for the first time at the 2017 Ducati Team launch as he introduced their challengers for the new season, alongside new teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Lorenzo: "We can achieve great things"
Jorge Lorenzo: “I’m very happy and excited to get on the new bike. It’s been a long time since the test in Valencia and I almost don’t remember how it felt to ride. I’m counting down the days to Sepang!”
The ‘Spartan’ did get a good first idea and impression of his new bike, however, with positivity already taking over.
JL99: “It was a big shock. More than anything, before getting on the bike, seeing the garage all in red with different people and sponsors…It made a big impact on me, but I got used to it bit by bit. Getting on the bike made a big impact too, because there are a lot of differences compared to my previous bike. But I saw there were a lot of positives, as well as some things to improve.
“I adapted well to the Yamaha from the first moment, it was a good connection from the start. The Ducati is different. Although people thought I’d find a nervous bike that was difficult to ride, but the truth is it goes well. I felt comfortable and it went round corners well.”
The switch from his previous MotoGP™ home – with whom he raced for nine seasons – isn’t just a matter of the bike, however.
JL99: “When I got to MotoGP that in itself was the biggest thing and I did it in a top team. But to sign for Ducati is something special – the team is like a family, everything is so passionate and there’s a clear difference: the guys in the factory are real fans of bikes and motorsport and they’re like a family. Their passion rubs off on you and that gives you so much energy to give the best of yourself; it’s an extra impulse.”
Looking towards the future in terms of goals and rivals, the Spaniard knows there is stiff competition – including from his Yamaha replacement Maverick Viñales.
JL99: “Each person does their own work and we all work for ourselves. Rossi didn’t give me anything when I arrived and likewise Maverick isn’t getting on a readymade bike. Everyone saw the results of the Valencia test and he was fastest both days. It’s obvious he has talent, ambition and is eager. Along with Marquez and Rossi he’s one of the favourites for the Championship."
Despite the clear objective for Borgo Panigale and the arrival of the five-time World Champion, Lorenzo however resets the expectation to win to the expectation to simply keep improving.
JL99: “We compete against two big factories with fantastic riders, but it’s true if we look at the progression in the last three years, Ducati gets better every year so it’s logical to say that this year we should be better again. But winning shouldn’t be the obsession – the obsession should be to improve.”
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