Jorge Lorenzo says he is pleased to be back on the MotoGP podium for the first time since June after finishing third at Indianapolis, though he was disappointed to lose out to Dani Pedrosa
in the closing stages after suffering rear grip issues in the closing stages.
The Spaniard began brightly on the factory Yamaha, getting the jump at the start of the race and heading off both Pedrosa and Marc Marquez during the first half of the race before eventual race winner Marquez nosed ahead on lap 12.
From here, Lorenzo held firm in second position before a big drop in rear tyre performance – which he described as the severest of his career - saw him slip into the clutches of Pedrosa with two laps remaining, the Repsol Honda rider duly overtaking to leave the reigning champion third.
Fearful of ending his race with a crash, Lorenzo opted to back off and play safe to bag his first podium since the Catalunya round.
“I think we played our cards the best way possible because I wasn't really, really good. I made a good start and I was fast. I was surprised to be so quick and constant in the first part of the race. But then Marc started to go faster and faster and the tyres started to go, so it was difficult to keep a normal pace.
“I was wishing to finish in second place and be not so far from Marc, but suddenly the rear tyre grip started to drop quickly. It has never happened so much in my career in MotoGP, but this time it happened big, big. So I couldn't do so much to defend the second place, and I thought I should finish, not crash and get the points.”
Reflecting on his collarbone injury, Lorenzo admitted to feeling some pain from the ailment in the latter stages, though he is confident the upcoming rounds at Brno and Silverstone will be better.
“I'm happy to be back on the podium at a track that's not normally a good one for us. I don't feel perfect, I feel more tired than normal because I haven't trained so much in the last two months because of the injuries. I felt tired at the end of the race and had some pain in the braking areas but I feel much better and in Brno and Silverstone I will be ok. I think from this moment we can only be better and better.”
Holding down third in the standings, the 2012 MotoGP Champion is now 35 points adrift of Marquez and hoping for new Yamaha parts to take on the Honda riders. "We need some push now, some pieces maybe, some evolution to be more competitive. Because now it's difficult to fight with them," he said.
With that in mind, Lorenzo is holding out hope that the new seamless shift gearbox may be ready for next weekend. "I don't think the points situation makes a big difference about this decision for Yamaha [to race debut the new gearbox]. But I will hope to have it in Brno."