By Stephen English
Jorge Lorenzo felt that his decision to use the softer compound Bridgestone slick tyre ultimately cost him the chance of winning his home Spanish MotoGP for the third year in succession.
With the race starting on a drying track but with lots of damp patches off line, tyre choice was always going to play a crucial role in the outcome of the race. However making the decision between the soft and hard compound tyres was exceptionally difficult for the teams and riders.
Lorenzo and his Yamaha squad - like their main Repsol Honda rivals - decided to race with the softer compound front tyre, feeling that it would reach its operating temperature faster and cope better with the damp patches.
After the race the Spaniard admitted it had been a mistake.
“I knew it would be a very important decision on the grid to choose the right front tyre,” said Lorenzo.
“The hard tyre was the best solution, but the conditions were a little bit wet at some corners so finally we choose the softer one. Unfortunately we were wrong. For the race it wasn't good and it was struggling [with grip problems] seven laps from the end.”
With Stoner able to open push harder in the final laps Lorenzo felt it was wiser to consider the championship rather than ride over the limit in a bid to win his home race for the third consecutive year.
“Without good feelings to finish second is not so bad, we are still leading the Championship and have good motivation for Estoril,” said the Qatar winner.
But with the harder tyre he felt that he had the potential to win the race comfortably.
“I think with the hard tyre we could win this race with quite a bit of an advantage,” said Lorenzo before concluding that, “when things are a little wrong finishing on the podium is good.”
Lorenzo finished less than one-second behind Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner.
Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow set the fastest lap of the race using a hard front tyre.