It was a case of a missed opportunity it seems for Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, who was present at the pre-race press conference ahead of the eleventh round of the MotoGP season, who was reflecting on the Austrian GP and is hoping to make a difference in Brno.
Yamaha made it work at the Red Bull Ring
Less than a week ago the MotoGP field took to the Red Bull Ring for the first time since 1997 for the tenth round of the MotoGP season. To many riders on the calendar it was new but the majority had completed two days of testing prior to the meeting.
The Ducatis seemed to dominate here and the Yamaha team were doing everything they could to close in on them. In the final stages of qualifying something clicked and Lorenzo was able to complete a flying lap which got him to second on the grid.
However even more impressive laps from Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) meant that the current MotoGP championship was forced to start from the second row in fourth.
Opportunity missed for Lorenzo?
Now, Lorenzo is currently second in the championship. Prior to the race championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), fell during FP3 dislocating his shoulder.
It seemed he may not be a contender in the race and it was down to Lorenzo to seize the opportunity and place as high as possible, with as many riders as possible in between him and Marquez, if he was to reduce the gap in the championship at all.
It was not to be though, despite an attack in the early stages of the race, Lorenzo had to sit back and watch as the Ducatis continued their dominance. Lorenzo finished third claiming the last spot on the podium and his teammate Rossi finished behind him.
Marqez corssed the line in fifth meaning that there was only a five point difference between the two Spaniards and now the gap in the championship is 43 points.
Ducati were not that far away
The lap times were not so different to those being set by the Ducati Team though, and the Movistar Yamahas were able to keep within distance of them. It seemed to come down to tyre choices, and Iannone choosing a soft front and medium compound rear Michelin, where Lorenzo chose medium front and hard rear, meant that he was not able to contend in the end.
Long anticipated return to form for Lorenzo
Despite missing the opportunity to close the gap between him and Marquez, a third was a much needed result for the Spaniard who seemed to have lost his form as of late.
The Austrian GP followed two wet rounds were Lorenzo lacked confidence and struggled all weeked. The Austrian GP allowed him to return to form.
Lorenzo hoping to repeat his success
Less than a week later the MotoGP has travelled to the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic for the eleventh round. Lorenzo qualified on pole position at here last year and went onto the win the race and the championship.
At the pre-race press conference Lorenzo, reflecting on the Austrian GP said, “I needed a good result!” He “did not doubt sooner or later” that he would get back to the podium but speaking about third at the tenth round he felt “the result helps”.
Speaking about the weekend ahead of him he described the Automotodrom Brno as “a circuit that historically and theoretically is good” for the Movistar Yamaha team. He also feels the circuit is good for his “riding style”. The Spaniard said, “Let’s see if theory matches reality and we can fight for the win.”
Tyres and championship at the forefront of his mind
Talking about the Michelin tyres (Michelin took over as tyre supplier to the MotoGP class from Bridgestone this season), he said they can “change dramatically at every track”. He said he found that “one race you can win and dominate and win the race” but then on the other hand “the next one you can be fifth”.
He was aware that the “Ducatis being competitive” means that it is highly possible that a rider can “finish down in fifth”.
With the championship always on his mind he said, “You can lose a lot of points or recover a lot of points, so this can change things a lot.” The current champion is hoping to close the 43 point gap that currently stands between him and current leader Marquez.