After a perfect pole-to-victory performance during round one in Qatar, reigning double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is braced for a tougher weekend in Texas.
A private test session at COTA in March was dominated by Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo was third and Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi fifth out of the five full-time riders present.
Lorenzo thus believes he and Yamaha will have to work hard to 'cut away the distance', but remains focussed on victory.
“Qatar was stunning for us. A great start of a really competitive season. It's always crucial to make a good beginning but Losail was just the first race of a long season,” said Lorenzo.
“Now we have to change our mindset, we go to the USA and we visit a completely different track, not just the layout but also for the asphalt, the climate and some different circumstances.
“The Austin track has a very long straight and several corners in first gear where you are need good acceleration and traction. There we will have to work really hard from the first session to cut away the distance to our competitors.
“Anyway, I keep my confidence that we can also make a good result there. I want to win at Austin and that's my mentality although I know in the USA it will be much more complicated.”
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg added: “In theory, Austin is not really a circuit that will benefit us. Anyway, we will see how much we can improve our performance compared with the test and see about our pace over there. Finally, this is racing and you never know until Sunday!”
Lorenzo holds a five-point lead over team-mate and Losail runner-up Rossi, with rookie Marquez nine points behind in third and Pedrosa (-12 points) in fourth.