29 September 2014
MotoGP Aragon: Lorenzo 'MotoGP is crazy sometimes!'
“Anything can happen and this sport is crazy sometimes” - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo was as shocked as anybody to end his MotoGP victory drought in Sunday's chaotic dry-wet Aragon race.
The Movistar Yamaha had struggled with tyre grip on his way to seventh in qualifying, but was a threat to dominant Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa from the first turn of the race.
When rain began falling more heavily Lorenzo made a crucial decision to pit for his wet bike, while Marquez and Pedrosa risked staying out on slicks. It cost them both dearly as they fell with just a few laps to go, handing Lorenzo a ten second victory over Aleix Espargaro (Forward) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati).
It was Lorenzo's first win since Valencia last year, having fought his way back to the top after his worst ever start to a premier-class season.
“Anything can happen and this sport is crazy sometimes,” smiled Lorenzo. “It can surprise you in a positive or a negative way. This time for us it has been very, very positive because in these difficult conditions anything can happen and you have to be very focused, know when to change the bike and have a little bit of luck.
“Today we had a lot of luck, but also I rode very well in the dry and the wet. I was very focused and gave everything to stay with Marc. So this victory is down to a combination of things.
“With the lower temperature I felt better than yesterday and I knew I could be a little bit faster because the tyre we used in qualifying was not good. I saw on the warm-up lap the bike was working well, I could brake good and carry a lot of corner speed. So I was a little bit disappointed when it started spitting because I was having a lot of fun leading the race and fighting with Marc."
Lorenzo and Marquez exchanged the lead numerous times - Marquez even appearing to wave Lorenzo past on the home straight, shortly after the arrival of the mid-race rain.
“I didn't know if he wanted me to pass, if he was scared about the rain or if he had a problem with the engine," said Lorenzo. "So I decided to pass him and to push at the limit to try and get away, but he was following me so I knew for sure he didn't break the engine. He overtook me, I overtook him back, but with the spitting I wasn't at the same level as them."
The increasing rain brought back memories of the Assen conditions, when Lorenzo had plummeted down the order to 13th.
“With the spitting I didn't feel great. I didn't feel confident with the rear of the bike and every lap the Honda guys got farther and farther away. Andrea [Dovizioso] was also catching me from behind so I thought third, fourth or fifth place this time," Lorenzo admitted.
“But I had some intuition when I saw my board said '2m 4s', because I remembered my pace on wet tyres in warm-up and I thought, 'every lap is getting worse, we are going to crash sooner or later'. In the last corner I thought 'do I want to stay out on slicks with Marc or Dani or make the decision to pit?' I took a risk and entered the box. As I said we had some luck but I felt comfortable in the wet today and took profit from my opportunity.
"“When I saw I was in first place I didn't know how many laps were left or where the second place rider was. I just kept my concentration because some riders had been faster than me in warm-up. The bike was sliding around a lot but I knew I couldn't crash because it was such a great opportunity to win."
Lorenzo added: “Speaking with Wilco [Zeelenberg, crew chief] before the race we expected to fight for third. Never to win! But finally it happened like this with the rain, some crashes.
“We've been in good shape in the last races, but here we had a lot of problems and we had never won here before. So the last place we expected to win was here! It has been unbelievable for us. It is also the Movistar Grand Prix and there is no better track to win at, so today is completely our day.”
Lorenzo's victory came after four successive second place finishes and, combined with the race accidents for team-mate Valentino Rossi and Pedrosa, has moved Lorenzo to within 12 points of Rossi and 15 of Pedrosa with four rounds remaining.
“In the last five or six races we've been on the podium. Japan last year was good for us and also we've been lucky on one side - unlucky for Valentino - that he crashed and also that Dani finished very far back today.
“So we've caught them a lot in the championship and it is a little more easy to fight for second place.”
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