Jorge Lorenzo may have lost out on pole to team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi by just 0.050sec at Brno on Saturday, but the young Spaniard heads into Sunday's eleventh round of the season with an excellent chance of his first victory since round four at Le Mans.
“This morning we tried the softer Bridgestone tyre but I didn't feel so good on it. This afternoon we gave it another chance but again it didn't seem to work so well, so we decided to just concentrate on the harder [race] tyre,” explained Lorenzo, who was fastest in both free practice sessions and led much of qualifying.
"Normally I am fast with soft tyres. In my whole life I have been very fast and have got a lot of pole positions, but in the last two races I don't feel enough confidence with the soft tyres.
"But we must be happy because every race we improve by a few tenths on the set-up of the bike and my riding style and at this track we are really fast. I think we can finish on the podium and fight for the victory as well.
"For sure this season has been very exciting. We are improving and improving and we must push a little more to try and win some races.
"I don't like to talk about bad luck, because if you are strong enough then you can win the championship [with or without luck] if you are much better than the other riders. We are still not so we must keep working," added the Lorenzo, who is 25 points behind Fiat Yamaha team-mate Rossi in the championship.
“Unfortunately today we didn't improve our lap time on the soft Bridgestone tyres and so we decided to do the last minute 'time-attack' on race tyres, then Jorge also encountered some traffic on his final lap,” confirmed team manager Daniele Romagnoli. “Anyway we are positive for the race because our pace today was pretty fast, we're just looking at one or two small areas which we think we can improve for the race.”
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start third on the grid, having lapped 0.333sec behind Lorenzo.
Pedrosa, like Lorenzo, set his best lap with the harder Bridgestone rear tyre. Rossi took pole with the softer rear option despite a late crash.