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Argentina MotoGP: Lorenzo 'I'd like a more competitive bike...'

Jorge Lorenzo frustrated by new-for-2014 engine development freeze rule as Movistar Yamaha rider aims to close gap to Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa
Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo feels the new Factory class MotoGP engine development freeze is having a severe impact on his chances of challenging Repsol Honda.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez has won twice from pole position in the opening two races of the 2014 season and will start Sunday's Argentina round from the top spot again as a big favourite to claim a third straight win.

Lorenzo - who fell from the lead in Qatar then made a jump start mistake in Texas - managed to split Marquez and Pedrosa to claim his first front row start of the season on Saturday in Argentina, but his time of 1m 38.425s was still 0.742s slower than the defending champion's brilliant benchmark.

“I would like to have a more competitive bike. We are trying our best, but the new regulations mean that we cannot improve the engine [during the season] so we are trying to improve the chassis and the electronics,” said Lorenzo.

“With the package we have we are trying to take the maximum and we are satisfied with the result of today.

"Our expectations for the race are difficult because the Hondas are very strong at all the tracks."

Lorenzo was surprised to finish second quickest in Q2 ahead of Pedrosa and says his starting position will boost his chances in Sunday's race.

“We are trying to solve as many things as possible. Today we made a small modification before the qualifying practice that proved to be good, ” he said.

"It was better entering the corner and also gave us more traction so I could be a bit faster and I got the maximum with the softer tyre to make a fast lap time.

“I didn't think I could stay in second position - that will help us for the race. Now I hope to make no mistakes in the first lap again! And just concentrate on my pace.

“There is a small chance of rain tomorrow. If it is dry we have a quite good set-up but the pace drops a lot after a few laps and I don't think anybody will use the softer tyre.

“A podium on Sunday would be a great way to 'start' the season, let's say.”

Like almost all of the top riders, double world champion Lorenzo is out of contract at the end of this season.

Lorenzo's comments will fuel speculation that he could be tempted to Honda next season if Yamaha are again unable to provide machinery that can compete with the RC213V. The #99 was the only rider capable of battling Marquez and Pedrosa during most of last season, finishing title runner-up by just four points.

With Marquez all but certain to stay at Honda next year, Yamaha will be desperate to retain Lorenzo, who has raced a Factory M1 since his 2008 MotoGP debut.

Ducati cited the new MotoGP engine freeze as a major reason for its request to change to the Open class, a move that resulted in Ducati and any new Factory MotoGP manufacturer (Suzuki in 2015) being immune to the engine freeze.

Tagged as: Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa , Marquez

Related Pictures

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Lorenzo, Argentinian MotoGP 2014
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April 26, 2014 9:39 PM

Well I have not heard vale bash the engine yet he has issues with the tyres and I think if he could get those issues sorted he would be happy. JL started off with bashing the new tyres then went to bashing the old tyres and now its the motor ! MM has his brain fried already! Say what you will but at least Vale acknowledges MM's abilities !

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