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Lorenzo left without brakes in Qatar

Tough start to 2018 for Losail’s most successful rider

It has been a tale of ups and downs for Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) of late, and the five-time World Champion had a number of technical gremlins affect his Qatar GP throughout the weekend. The biggest of those, however, was finding himself without brakes during the race – and the Mallorcan was forced to let go of the bike and roll into the gravel to avoid heading towards the wall.

Lorenzo on his brake failure at Losail

“What happened today in the race? Interesting question,” begins the Mallorcan. “I was losing the front lever, and I was trying to brake less because I thought the front brake was overheating. Then when I was feeling better and better and going faster than the rider leading the race, trying to catch Iannone, at Turn 4 I lost the brakes.”

The number 99 then had a quick decision to make.

“I had to jump to avoid hitting the wall. I was really lucky because it didn’t happen at the first corner at 300 km/h, because that would have been a different story. Luckily I’m ok, because it happened at 180 and not 300 kilometers an hour.”

Looking back on what could have been – with the bike having taken the win and another finish in the top five – there are some positives, however. Lorenzo says he thinks he could have been with the front group and that, for the first time, the latter half of the race would have been better for him – after often leading the way in 2017 and then struggling to remain with the leaders.

“I think I could have fought,” affirms the Mallorcan. “If I didn’t have that brake problem, I think I could have fought to stay with the lead group. Anything was possible – winning, finishing fifth, who knows. But for the first time I was better in the second half of the race than the first half.”

Now it’s Argentina in a few weeks, with Lorenzo hoping to get back to the form that saw him set the fastest ever lap of Sepang during the first preseason test there.