14 July 2014
German MotoGP: Lorenzo 'Happy and optimistic for the future'
“The worst thing was when I tried the brake, there was no brake” - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo overcame his Assen fears to claim third place in similar damp conditions at the Sachsenring on Sunday.
The double world champion had cut a forlorn figure as he admitted to being 'too scared' to push harder with slicks on a damp track in Holland, due to memories of last year's broken collarbone.
It was the latest dip in Lorenzo's worst premier-class season to date and the Movistar Yamaha faced almost identical conditions in the German race.
However this time Lorenzo - having been among the majority of riders to start from pit lane - was soon on the attack, overtaking team-mate Valentino Rossi for fourth place on lap nine.
“When I saw the rain coming just after the Moto2 race I was a little bit disappointed, because I wanted a dry race,” said Lorenzo. “I felt strong enough to be not so far from Marc and maybe fighting with him and Dani.
“Anyway the rain came, it was the same for everyone and most of us did the same strategy by going into the pits [at the end of the formation lap]. There was a crowd there because a lot of riders were in a very narrow space.”
Lorenzo was forced to take evasive action moments after the chaotic pit lane start, raising his hand to allow other riders back past after swerving early onto the circuit.
“The worst thing was when I tried the brake, the carbon brake, there was no brake. So to avoid an impact with the others I needed to go onto the track early,” he explained. “I knew this was illegal so I let them past, including Iannone who was the rider I passed.”
Lorenzo then worked his way forwards, taking the final podium place from LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl on lap 10 of 30, but was unable to challenge the leading Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
“I didn't have a lot of confidence with new tyres. I needed two laps to warm up the tyres and was also very careful in the penultimate corner, which was completely wet. Finally when it dried I tried my best, rode very focussed, very concentrate.
“The pace was sometimes the same as Marc and Dani, sometimes one or two tenths slower. I didn't have a perfect feeling in the penultimate corner all race, but to be more or less at the same pace as them and feeling physically strong after the work with my trainer makes me happy and optimistic for the future.”
Lorenzo, yet to sign for 2015 but expected to remain with Yamaha, remains fifth in the world championship, but is now just two points from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.
“Things change,” he said about his tough 2014 situation. “We are not competing alone and the other brand [Honda] is very strong at this moment at all the tracks. But I think we are making a good job. The Japanese from Yamaha are working a lot to improve our bike and we are getting it closer every race.
“We just need something more to catch up these one or two tenths that we need.”
Team manager Massimo Meregalli praised Lorenzo's performance.
“Jorge proved today that Assen is in the past and his mind is again focused on the podium. He rode a great race. It looks like our competitors were able to get a rhythm earlier than us making it difficult to close the gap on Marquez and Pedrosa.”
Rossi finished in fourth place, nine seconds behind Lorenzo.
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