Interview Jorge Lorenzo: “If we can improve only 2% we’ll do very well this year”

 In MotoGP, News

Photo: Yamaha Factory Racing

The MotoGP season has begun on a positive note for Jorge Lorenzo, who was at the top of the timesheets in the Official Test in Malaysia and, perhaps more importantly, left Sepang encouraged about the potential of the new YZR-M1 1000cc, the weapon that the Japanese factory has developed in an attempt to counter Honda’s dominance of the last year.

In a conversation with, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider shared his assessment of the recent work accomplished in the opening Test of the preseason.

“We’re still developing the bike, because things have changed a lot, the bike capacity is 200cc more, there is more power, it’s heavier and you have to brake harder and open the throttle more gently, and use more strength to stand the bike up after a corner … but I think we’re a little closer to our competitors,” explained the 2010 MotoGP World Champion. “The bike has a lot of potential. We have to work on several things but if we can improve it, even by 2%, we can do very well this year.”

Lorenzo is confident that during the final preseason test in Jerez or by the first Grand Prix on the calendar, Qatar, he will have a better adjusted bike: “It’s difficult to improve the bike much in just a couple of weeks. I think now we’ll work on improving some aspects of the electronics ahead of Jerez, and by Qatar we can make a pretty big step forward,” Lorenzo predicts.

The Spanish rider also argues that Honda, Yamaha and Ducati seem to be on more equal ground this season. And on the subject of the Rossi-Ducati progress and a hypothetical return of the Italian fighting at the front of the field, Lorenzo commented:

“This year I see a little more equality between all three factories, I think it’s possible for all of the manufacturers to have wins this season, which was impossible for Ducati last year. We had three or four, but this year I think Ducati will have opportunities to win, though I don’t know yet whether they will be able to fight for the title, but I see them stronger, more competitive, faster, and I think that Valentino will fight for a victory this year.”

One item of concern for Lorenzo in the new 1000cc era is the higher top speeds the powerful prototypes are able to reach. He believes there should be a line drawn at the maximum attainable speed in competition:

“It’s unlikely that a crash will occur at 340 or 350kph in a straight line, but if it did, it would be almost impossible not to have serious consequences, so for me there’s no need to go 350kph in a straight line. I think 310, 320kph is more than enough speed to race at; Speed doesn’t make the race, what we wanted the last few years was more of a show for the fans, but I think there is a limit. We’ve reached 350kph. I think it’s too much,” concluded Lorenzo.


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