Jorge Lorenzo complained that the lack of tyre grip during opening practice for the Qatar MotoGP was so bad that it felt like he was riding without traction control.

The Spaniard, winner at Losail for the last two seasons, added that he has, "never suffered such a bad feeling with the tyres in MotoGP."

Lorenzo and his Movistar Yamaha ended the opening night of the 2014 season ninth fastest, almost 1.5s off the pace of Aleix Espargaro, and after the session he didn't hide his disappointment with the situation.

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Bridgestone has changed the construction of the rear tyre to avoid blistering problems that affected the rubber at some races last year, notably Philip Island, but for Lorenzo the lack of grip offered by the tyre was clearly a major issue.

"We don't have grip," said Lorenzo, who also struggled badly with the new rear tyre at the Sepang test. "When you're on the centre of tyre you don't feel the same grip as last year and when you exit a corner and start to open you don't have grip and when you accelerate it feels bumpy and doesn't drive.

"It's really bad, especially in the long corners. When I want to open the throttle and be aggressive, I lose the rear. It feels like I don't have traction control but then when you see the telemetry the traction control is actually working quite a lot so that means that the rear tyre doesn't have any grip.

"Compared to the previous tyre when we accelerate on the lateral side it's very difficult to improve your lap time."

With the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati squads having missed the Qatar test two weeks ago, Lorenzo felt that this obviously played a role in allowing the other riders to get up to speed quickly in FP1.

However with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa lapping 0.7s faster, Lorenzo refused to use track time as an excuse for tonight's performance.

"Yes, three days would be 15 hours of testing and we have just 45 minutes. It's not an excuse because we have time but 45 today and 45 tomorrow should put us close. Anyway Pedrosa went faster so it means that there is a margin [to improve] but it's going to be very difficult. You feel that you're at the limit right now."

Team-mate Valentino Rossi was one place and 0.210s slower than Pedrosa.