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Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was closing down teammate Andrea Dovizioso in the last few laps of the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, but just as he’d sliced a second off the gap, disaster struck for the ‘Spartan’ and he slid out. A race he’d started by leading from pole before dueling Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at mid-distance as Dovizioso had escaped in the lead, Lorenzo says there are positives despite the ultimate result – and talks through the biggest key to it for him: tyres.
FREE video: Lorenzo's Misano dream ends up in the gravel
“Firstly one of the keys to today, from the negative side, was the impossibility of choosing the soft tyres, especially the rear tyre because the rear was impossible,” begins Lorenzo. “It was destroyed after 10 laps and there was too much difference between the soft and the medium. The front, in the Warm Up we put on the soft front and soft rear, but because the rear was impossible it created some problems with the front. That made me put the medium front and medium rear in for the race, which made me really uncomfortable in braking, especially on the front, because I didn’t have grip and couldn’t stop the bike, pushing the front tyre a lot and risking a lot.”
Towards the end the situation had been improving, but the hurdles along the way were costly.
“I was getting better and better, having a better feeling on the last laps, but we also lost a lot of time with 10 laps to go in that fight with Marc,” continues the Ducati rider. “I think Marc knew he couldn’t win today so he tried to stop me from going for Dovi – his chance was to stop me and fight for second, which made me lose some seconds and made me risk a lot to try and catch him at the end.”
And Lorenzo? He had his own tactics, confirming what teammate Dovizioso said in the Press Conference – that he hadn’t pushed to the limit at the start as is normal ‘Lorenzo style’.
“Probably today with the medium tyres, I could have pushed a bit more at the start,” agrees Lorenzo. “But I didn’t feel great in braking so I was preserving some energy and tyres, but Dovi was very focused and riding very well. It wasn’t enough and Marc overtook me when I made a mistake, he didn’t want me to pull away…I recovered more than a second but I had to risk a lot to try and catch him.”
A lot that was ultimately too much. So, moving on from Misano and looking ahead to Aragon?
“Every time I have more experience with the bike I ride it better every time. Today we didn’t have any more chance. The tyres didn’t help, but although I didn’t ride badly, we lost a lot of points. I think we need to take some conclusions from today to try and improve the bike for the next races, but I think hopefully there will also be tyres I like more.”
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