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Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo endured a tough start to the 2019 campaign, with a nasty highside at Turn 6 in the early stages of FP3 leaving the already-injured five-time World Champion worse for wear ahead of qualifying and the race in Qatar.
Lorenzo highsides five minutes into FP3
Lorenzo missed the Sepang Test in early February after fracturing his scaphoid in a training accident in January, while his Valencia and Jerez Tests at the end of 2018 were also affected by injury. This has left the Spaniard on the back foot in terms of mileage on his new RC213V machine and having such a big crash after a good start to his weekend wasn’t in the script.
Nonetheless, after medical checks, Lorenzo was declared fit to continue for the rest of the Qatar GP and eventually brought his Repsol Honda home in P13, 14.307 seconds off race winner Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati).
“Well there are many positive things even though it wasn’t a great result because 13th position is never good,” began Lorenzo. “But I was very limited because of the crash. It was a big impact, everywhere, but especially the shoulder, it limited my confidence and limited my physical condition on the bike and from then on I was always slower than when I started the weekend. So this was the main problem.
“Also we tried to change the clutch, to have more margin for the start. But this was a problem today because the clutch was slippery, it was spinning, spinning for the warm up lap and the first three laps. So that’s why I almost went back to last position and five riders overtook me. I lose probably three or four seconds, if not I could probably have been in the top ten. Anyway it think we have, without any doubt, much bigger potential than this 13th position and I think if we are not unlucky in the next races the good results will arrive soon.”
In 15 mins: VisitQatar Grand Prix MotoGP™ highlights
Lorenzo now has two weeks to rest and prepare for Round 2 in Argentina. A track he’s expecting to feel much better physically at.
“Well for Argentina will be much better for my wrist, but I also hope in the rest of the body. I need to make some checks on the shoulder because I feel some crack, some movement. But I hope it’s just some impact from the crash and nothing is broken, nothing is bad. Argentina will be much better physically and hopefully without the problem of the cup, better ergonomics, some modifications…I repeat if we are not unlucky in the next races, results will come quite soon.”
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