Reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo
feels his 2013 title chances have increased ten-fold following Sunday's incident packed Australian Grand Prix.
The first ever dry MotoGP race to feature mandatory pit stops, due to tyre overheating fears, Lorenzo bolted away from pole position at Phillip Island - but couldn't shake off title leader Marc Marquez and the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa.
A near fall from his Yamaha put Marquez and Pedrosa right on Lorenzo's rear wheel by the time Pedrosa peeled into the pits on lap 9 of 19. Lorenzo followed on lap 10, but rookie Marquez amazingly missed the ten-lap deadline due to a mix-up and was later black flagged.
All of which meant Lorenzo, who could have lost his title to Marquez on Sunday, instead gained 25 points and is now 18 behind with two rounds remaining.
“It was a crazy, chaotic race,” said Lorenzo, after his sixth victory of the year. “It was the first time we had changed bikes in a dry race. It was difficult for everyone.
“We practiced changing the bike a lot, which was one of the keys of our victory.
“After the warm-up we changed strategy. I watched my [bike swap] on the video and also Marc's. He was really smart. They had the fastest possible way. We were slow, losing almost two seconds to them. So I tried to copy his style. I practiced before the race and improved a lot.
“At the start of the race we were running low 1m 28s. It was amazing, close to pole position, but also Dani and Marc were just as fast so I couldn't open a gap. Then I almost crashed in one corner and Marc was on my wheel again.”
After Marquez's late pit stop, he emerged back on track just as race leader Lorenzo was entering turn one. Contact between the followed.
“I braked too late, so I was out of the line, and I think he also entered very fast. I think we both have some fault for this collision,” said Lorenzo.