15 June 2014
Catalunya MotoGP: ‘Power cut’ strategy costs Lorenzo
"Little by little we were cutting more power to make the bike more stable" - Jorge Lorenzo.
Double Catalunya MotoGP winner Jorge Lorenzo missed out on his home podium after struggling for acceleration.
The Movistar Yamaha rider arrived in Barcelona fresh from a thrilling victory battle with undefeated world champion Marc Marquez at Mugello - and made his race intentions clear but taking the lead around the outside of pole sitter Dani Pedrosa at turn one.
However in order to reduce the instability issues, Lorenzo and his team had cut the amount of power being delivered to the rear wheel, which ultimately cost him in the race.
Lorenzo dropped to fourth place by lap seven and, having caught back up to the leading trio during confusion caused by a yellow flag pass, again lost touch in the closing stages.
“I think today we lost a lot of time in acceleration,” said Lorenzo. “From first practice I saw that with this tyre we suffered a lot of pumping [rear wheel kicking up and down] and a very unstable bike which makes you run wide.
“So little by little we were cutting more power to make the bike more stable, but as I saw in the race we lost a lot in acceleration. Especially out of the last corner we were losing out in third gear, but also fourth and fifth. We were losing three or four tenths every lap.
“When I had a good tyre I could stay with Marc and with the slipstream maybe I could pass. But we need to improve the top speed and acceleration in fourth, fifth and sixth gears. But even when leading on the first lap I couldn't open a gap
“We have improved the braking. The stopping is much better than last year. Unfortunately in acceleration we were much worse than last year, with this tyre, and we couldn't find the good set-up.”
Lorenzo struggled for grip from the stiffer 2014 rear tyre during winter testing and the opening races. However his Mugello performance seemed to confirm he was back to his best.
“This time we could not find the right setting with this tarmac, which is more slippery and bumpy than Mugello,” Lorenzo explained. “Here I could see from the beginning that the bike was really unstable so cutting more power - I don't know if it was the best solution - but it was not enough to fight with them.
“I was also more tired at the end than Mugello, even though I'm fitter, because the bike was moving so much.”
Lorenzo will start the search for solutions on Monday, when a day of official testing is held back at Catalunya.
“We have a lot of things to try tomorrow. More than usual so it is important it does not rain. If it rains we will have [a private test at] Aragon but it is not the same because you cannot compare to the race,” he said.
“We want to improve the bike a little bit in the braking still, to play more like the Honda does, especially in the entry to the corner they can have a lot of pressure with the bike still leaning. We have to stay straight for longer.
“But generally in braking I'm satisfied, we just need to find the confidence and stability I need in acceleration.”
Lorenzo finished 4.5s from Sunday's race winner Marquez, four seconds behind runner-up team-mate Valentin Rossi and remains fourth in the world championship.
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