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Lorenzo: aero or no aero is the question in Qatar

Ducati man and Losail’s most successful rider ends Day 1 in fourth – without the bigger aero fairing favoured by the Mallorcan

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was fourth quickest on Friday as battle commenced in the desert, and the Spaniard showered some sparks down the main straight at the spectacular floodlit venue. The biggest headline aside from the five-time Champion’s pace, however, was the lack of aero fairing on the number 99 machine.

Lorenzo has used the larger aero fairing on his Ducati almost from inception, but after teammate Andrea Dovizioso and Alma Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci showed such top pace in testing in Qatar without, the Mallorcan went for a sleeker look on Day 1.

"I’m quite happy about today because we improved the pace and with the soft tyre it was one of the best," begins the Mallorcan. "In the end, we missed the chance to make one fast lap because we didn’t put a new tyre on the front like some, so we have this card to play tomorrow. I’m more satisified than in the test for sure. For now, with this bike, it looks like the fairing with 'winglets' gives me problems in the corners so I prefer to not use it. So, for now I will continue to use the normal one."

Watch Lorenzo gunning for glory in qualifying from 19:20 local time (GMT +3) on Saturday.

Highlights: Ducati dominates opening day in the desert