Lorenzo admits to finding major setup breakthrough

The three-time World Champion is confident he’s found more corner speed as a result of ditching a part on his Repsol Honda

Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo is confident he’s found a major breakthrough with his RC213V when it comes to corner speed, the cornerstone of his riding style, ahead of the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, but still feels he “needs more time” to be back at his very best.

The former World Champion has even compared his current predicament of struggling to find a “natural connection” with the bike to that of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Johann Zarco, as he also tries to adapt to a new machine with the Austrian factory.

However, Lorenzo believes he will be more competitive this weekend at Le Mans after removing a mystery part during testing: “There was a part of the bike that I chose to have during the preseason that the other Honda riders didn’t have. But, the areas in which we gained from having the part didn’t outweigh what we were losing on corner speed. I don’t think it’s everything, but it will help me to be faster through the corners. The rest will come with more kilometres and from testing new things.”

At the same time, Lorenzo is remaining realistic that despite this stride forwards, it’s still not job done: “We know that the situation, my connection with the bike, is going to be more difficult than we expected. I will need more time because it isn’t a natural connection. I will need more time. It’s important to be aware that it will not just happen in a natural way; like it has happened naturally at other times or like it has happened for other riders in other teams.”

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“We should consider every improvement as a small victory, and with time and kilometres we will find a greater evolution. The Honda is not going to be a natural bike for me, it needs later braking, sliding, lean angle, similar to how the Ducati wasn’t natural for me, that’s why I need more time.

“The situation is the same as Zarco in that in his first MotoGP race he was at front and now with the KTM he is struggling. It’s the difference between a bike that is natural and not natural in MotoGP nowadays, despite how close it is.”

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