What Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo needs more than anything now is a win! The current MotoGP champion has had a recent bout of bad luck and is looking to change that at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich.
New circuit on the MotoGP calendar
Lorenzo was present at two days of testing before the summer break which was his first chance to experience the Red Bull Ring aboard his M1 as this year is the first time since 1997 that the MotoGP class has competed here.
Day one of the meeting and Lorenzo still appeared to be struggling. He finished seventh fastest during FP1 and dropped to eighth during FP2. Something changed though and he finished third during FP3 meaning he automatically qualified for Q2.
Temporarily on the top spot
Things continued to get better for the Spaniard as towards the end of the session, he knocked Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone of the top spot temporarily and looked like he may have claimed pole ahead of the race, before Iannone retaliated and reclaimed it.
Along came Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) claiming the second spot on the grid pushing Lorenzo don to third. The Ducatis have been incredibly strong so far during testing and the duration of the meeting; a good sign for Lorenzo who will be moving to the Italian team next year.
Forced down the leaderboard by his teammate
It was not over though… along came Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi with a last minute scorcher of a lap, who squeezed in to second position pushing Dovizioso down the end of the front row in third and knocking Lorenzo onto the next row.
The current champion will begin the tenth round of the season from fourth on the grid. Lorenzo said, “How things can change in MotoGP is just unbelievable, in just one day!”
A chance to challenge for the championship?
Now looking at the championship as it currently stands, Lorenzo is second behind Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez who has an extremely comfortable lead.
Marquez crashed today dislocating his shoulder in the process. He was flown to hospital as a precaution but declared fit to race, he returned and claimed fifth on the grid behind Lorenzo.
Marquez is now very bruised from the injury, and sorry for thinking like this, but this may play into Lorenzo’s hands on race day.
Should the injuries affect Marquez’s performance Lorenzo should seize the opportunity and finish before him, and with as many people in between them as possible in an attempt to close the gap in the championship.
Lorenzo feels much more competitive
Lorenzo said “everything can affect the results” and claimed that “today the conditions helped us a lot”. The Spaniard noted that their “main rivals didn’t improve lap times a lot” and confirmed Yamaha “improved by a great difference” which was “more than a second”. He felt that that was why they were “closer and able to fight for pole position”.
Lorenzo finished day two of the meeting “very happy with the progression and the lap time”. He spoke of how he thought he “could be on the first row or even in first position” however he said that “finally in the last moment they overtook me”.
Despite this he said, “Still, second row is a good place” and he confirmed it was “better than we expected before starting the Grand Prix”.