2 years ago
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Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) is seldom a rider to repeat mistakes, and after highsiding out of the lead early at Misano in the wet, the five-time World Champion avoided a re-run at Sepang as he got a good start, chased down early leader Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and then passed the Frenchman for first.
“I made a good start but Marc was aggressive in the first corner so I had to pick up the bike,” explains Lorenzo, “but then I was very strong in braking. I followed Zarco and he was really pushing. When I started leading, I tried to concentrate and with the same laptime to keep the rear tyre but the front started closing.”
Lorenzo: "I had four or five moments with the front end"
That was an issue also suffered by teammate Andrea Dovizioso – who says he watched the Majorcan during the race and could see the issue. And had a front row seat for when Lorenzo had one high profile moment at Turn 15: “I saved some moments in the braking, especially in Turn 15 I had a big moment but got the bike straight,” describes Lorenzo. “That was when Andrea overtook me and I tried to be careful in braking so nothing crazy happened…with the front closing if there was something crazy and we crashed together…”
If they had, it would certainly have been the end of ‘DesmoDovi’’s title challenge, and handed the trophy to Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. But Lorenzo was well aware of that: “I already knew what to do in that situation. I knew the world title was important... if Marquez crashed, or if he was in fourth or fifth…I wanted to win and push to the end but the front was closing. I saw Andrea slow on the last lap when it was raining, but to try something then? There would have been 90% chance of a crash.”
"Both Ducati riders know what's important"
Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, was understandably happy with the result and the safe 1-2. “I think we had a really great race in difficult conditions. Both riders rode beautifully and I’m really happy,” explained the Italian. Then addressing the question of team orders, Dall’Igna says both men on track understood the goal – the race win and taking the title fight to Valencia – and says Lorenzo did right. “I think both riders are clever enough to understand what is important for a team like Ducati. Jorge is a great rider, a great man and he understood everything and made the right decision.”
Now the paddock heads back to Valencia, where Lorenzo first rode the ‘Desmosedici’ last season – and where Andrea Dovizioso prepares for the final showdown.
2 years ago
2 years ago