Tyre issues continue to haunt Lorenzo

Current MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo was forced to pit twice on his Movistar Yamaha at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic during the very wet 11th round of the MotoGP season. Ongoing tyre issues prevented the Spaniard from scoring any vital championship points.

Tyre issues continue to haunt Lorenzo
Tyre issues continue to haunt Lorenzo - www.facebook.com (Jorge Lorenzo)

Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo was ‘on top of the world’ right up until the very final stages of Qualifying, that is all began to go very wrong for the current MotoGP champion.

Lorenzo had it all

At the end of Free Practice 3 at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic, where the MotoGP where competing in the 11th round of the season, Lorenzo was the man to beat having set the fastest ever lap at the circuit.

He remained the fastest man during Free Practice 4 and thought he had it in the bag setting the fastest lap towards the end of Qualifying, but then along came Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez who stole his pole position and lap record.

Wet conditions for the race

Now this all took place in the sunshine, but then come race day, the weather had changed for the worst! It rained all morning, during the warm-up until the end of the Moto2 race. When it came time for the race the rain had eased off however the track was still wet.

The riders expected a flag-to-flag race where they would be able to come in when they felt was right to change to their other bikes with slick tyres on. Lorenzo opted for the soft compound front and hard compound rear wet tyres like a lot of other riders, which was the best option, but not necessarily for Lorenzo.

Lorenzo made it up to tenth on the grid after a poor start

The track did not dry, not enough for the soft tyres to last for the duration of the race, and no-one looked to be making the decision to pit and risk losing vital time on track. Lorenzo initially dropped from second on the grid all the way down to 16th by the time his tyres got up to heat. Eventually he made his way back up to 10th on the grid.

Aggressive riding from Lorenzo led to the Yamaha rider losing a lot of grip down the centre of the front tyre, similar to what happened to race leader at one stage Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team). Lorenzo was forced to put as a result, sooner than his tem expected, and so he returned to track on slick tyres.

Lorenzo and Laverty waited for rear hard tyre to kick in - www.facebook.com (Eugene Laverty)
Lorenzo and Laverty waited for rear hard tyre to kick in - www.facebook.com (Eugene Laverty)

Lorenzo forced to pit a second time

It was still way too wet for the slick tyres to cope and Lorenzo had to return to the pits for a second time one lap later to swap back to his first bike which had had the front tyre replaced. It was too late for the Spaniard to do anything and he crossed the line in last position on track in 17th.

Lorenzo failed to claim championship points meaning  Marquez extended his championship lead, and Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi moved up to second place ahead of him after they both finished on the podium.

Apparently Lorenzo had been working hard recently to improve his confidence in wet conditions; he is rumoured to have been practising on purposefully wet tracks. However this has not been confirmed.

Lorenzo gained confidence in the wet

Lorenzo felt that it was “a big pity” as he thought he was “doing a great race”. He found that he “had some difficulties stopping the bike at the beginning when there was a little bit more water” and he found things “especially hard” using the hard tyre as he found he “didn’t have grip” on the corner exits.

Lorenzo admitted he “needed to be careful” which is why he said he was “quite far from the top”. He said, “Little by little, as the track dried, the rear came better”, then Lorenzo found he “started to gain confidence”. But then “seven laps before the end the front tyre tore up” and so Lorenzo spoke of how he “had to change the bike twice” and so he “finished the race on the first bike in seventeenth”.

Tyre issues on several occasions for Lorenzo

Lorenzo acknowledged, “Rossi was unlucky in Mugello and I was very unlucky today”, the Spaniard feels he has had “a lot of bad luck this season”. To overcome this he said, “We have to work so this doesn’t happen more often.”

The Spaniard said, “We see it happen sometimes in the dry and today in the wet and we have to try not to have more tyre mishaps in the future.