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Jorge Lorenzo had taken 145 podiums in the World Championship by the time the lights went out in Jerez, and the Spanish GP was the day to take number 146 and ride into parc ferme for the first time in red. The Ducati Team rider picked off those in front of him one by one, finally pulling away from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in the latter laps to secure P3 – fourth time lucky on the Ducati after a stunning ride, staying level with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) with the third most podiums of all time.
Jerez has been Lorenzo’s Land before, with a number of wins for the five-time World Champion at one of his home tracks, and the signs were looking good from Friday. After progress in Texas and a huge step forward in Jerez, Lorenzo said getting the Ducati on the podium at the venue felt more like a win – and not to doubt his mentality.
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Lorenzo: "This podium is better than some victories"
Jorge Lorenzo, P3: “Best present ever, I couldn’t have a better present for my 30th birthday. It’s more than a victory and more than a victory with Yamaha. Everyone knows the difficulties to be competitive with the Ducati in the dry, on a difficult track like Jerez has been for us. But Jerez is one of my favourite tracks. We’ve been strong all weekend except in qualifying, and I knew I had the pace to fight – maybe not for the podium but for fifth or sixth. Then I started overtaking riders, the race pace was quite slow because of the heat and I stayed behind Zarco, then when I overtook him it was difficult to pull away. In the last laps my tyres were better and I was able to pull away and enjoy this result for me and the team. I said on Thursday it’s a combination of a lot of things but mainly kilometers. This is a special bike, when I arrived in MotoGP on the Yamaha I was immediately fast because it was a bike made for my riding style, but in other categories it took me a long time to understand certain things and that’s happening now. But you don’t have to doubt my riding or mentality, but some people did. They doubted and now they have to eat their words! All riders in this Championship are very good and can be in front, especially riders who have won races and titles. It flowed more today, but it’s still not natural for me to use the rear brake. Sooner or later it will be – but I’ve been nine years without using that. You always have to find a way to get the maximum from the bike and every bike has a different way of doing that.”
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