Jorge Lorenzo’s Repsol Honda Team debut at the Valencia Test was the most anticipated talking points about the 2019 campaign, with the Spaniard ending the two days 0.827 behind pacesetter Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory Racing).
The five-time World Champion was unable to speak to the media about his debut due to contractual reasons, but some of his main rivals had their say on Lorenzo’s debut.
“It was interesting because he already tried the new bike,” said teammate Marc Marquez. “I think step by step, the Honda is a difficult bike in the first days. But he will arrive soon.”
And what about his previous teammate, Ducat Team’s Andrea Dovizioso? “I did not find myself on the track with Jorge, I saw him on television, I did not think it was bad, he was not perfectly comfortable to push and do what he wanted with a new motorbike, but it seems like a good start,” said the Italian, as reported by motorsport.com.
“The results of this test count very little, both for those who are ahead and those who are behind, there are few tenths difference and what counts are the sensations for the rider.”
Former Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) also had his say: “I rolled behind Lorenzo, I rolled behind Pecco, I rolled behind Franco, behind Mir ... When I saw him he was not going very fast, let's say he still did not look good on the bike,” said the Italian, according to Motociclismo.
However, the nine-time World Champion acknowledged a key factor; the number 99’s wrist injury: “Although you will also need to see how he is doing with his wrist injury.”
P12 and under a second off the top on his debut, with an injured wrist, was positive for Lorenzo. And we’ll see him back on track at Jerez on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th as he continues his adjustment from Ducati to Honda. How close to P1 will he be before the winter break?