Jorge Lorenzo may have qualified third on the grid, behind only Ducati's Casey Stoner and his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi, but the young Spaniard is facing something of a tyre dilemma.
Of the two compounds available under the single tyre rules, Lorenzo is 'much faster' on the softer option - but needs to use the harder compound in the race.
“During the test here I was faster with the hard tyre but for some reason we have the opposite situation this time and I am much faster with the soft tyre,” he explained. “With the hard tyre we have a few issues still, which is a problem because this is the tyre we need to use for the race.
“Now we need to work hard to try to solve the problem tonight. Tomorrow I won't be thinking about winning, just about doing the best I can and taking as many points as is possible in the circumstances. Of course you never know what will happen in a race!” added the #99, who took pole and a podium on his Qatar MotoGP debut last season.
“We know that Jorge can be fast with the soft tyre but we still need to improve the pace with the hard tyre because at the moment we still have some problems, mainly on the entry to the turn where the bike is still understeering,” confirmed team manager Daniele Romagnoli. “We have some ideas and the warm-up is going to be very important to improve things so that Jorge can ride to his full potential tomorrow night.”