Jorge Lorenzo’s (Ducati Team) record at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is something to behold. On pole and the race winner in the 250 World Championship when racing returned to the venue in 2007, his premier class prowess since is littered with trophies. Already three times a premier class winner at the venue and now the first Ducati rider on pole there since Casey Stoner in 2008, it’s also Lorenzo’s first back-to-back poles in red and his fourth pole in the last five years at Misano. So what will Sunday bring?
According to the five-time World Champion, the race will be “tough, long and hot.” He explains that the tyre will play a key role, too. “On a shorter track it’s always tough, physically, because we do a lot of laps. And it will be very demanding for the tyres as well. We still don’t know what the best tyre will be. That decision will be important tomorrow. But we’re fast, competitive and consistent.
Lorenzo: "Just imagining beating that time was difficult"
“I’m happy with the improvements, in my riding and in the bike. But the race is the race, with more fuel and probably harder tyres. It’s a long race with 27 laps and you can’t push at 100% throughout the whole race so you need to manage everything a bit and it will be difficult. But as always it’s the same favourites: me, Marc, Dovi, Viñales, Valentino will be there…I think we have four or five riders fighting for victory.”
Sounds like a good recipe for racing, with a lot at stake. Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) are both aiming to become the first to get to four premier class wins at the venue, and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) could equal the two on Misano MotoGP™ wins. But after a nigh on perfect Saturday, Lorenzo is the man in the driving seat so far and was understandably pretty chuffed: “It couldn’t have gone any better. To be so fast here at Misano with the Ducati, which normally struggles a bit here…although maybe not this Ducati because we have a very complete bike…but it makes me proud and happy.”
Finally, when talking about breaking the pole record – his own, from 2016 – Lorenzo says it wasn’t something he’d been expecting to be able to do. “The 1:31.6 is a fast laptime, but the first laptime, the 31.7, was already unbelievable. A 31.9 from the test a month ago was a very good laptime, and imagining improving that was difficult. But as always we left everything on the track in qualifying. That was very difficult to do, you need a lot of precision and concentration. I had a high level of both today and did it!”
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