29 January 2015
Lorenzo: We suspect Honda has some difficulties
“We suspect that Honda has some difficulties with the new bike and we can continue in the good path... That's just a hope at this moment” - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo admits to hoping that Honda has 'some difficulties' with its 2015 MotoGP machine and that Yamaha can build on its strong end to last season.
At November's Valencia test, reigning double world champion Marc Marquez confessed that changes were needed for the 2015 RCV. “They [Honda] have gone in one direction and I didn't like it, we must go in the other one,” Marquez said after setting his best lap time on the 2014 bike.
During a Movistar Yamaha interview to coincide with Wednesday's team launch, Lorenzo was asked if this year could belong to Yamaha.
“Well, that's the hope for all of us,” he replied. “We suspect that Honda has some difficulties with the new bike and we can continue in the good path with new parts that give us more speed and consistency. That's just a hope at this moment.”
Having bravely defied injury to push Marquez to the final round in the 2013 championship battle, Lorenzo's 2014 campaign began to unravel even before a competitive lap had been turned.
A lack of fitness and loss of his trademark cornering speed due to revised tyres led to a miserable pre-season testing. Things got worse when the racing began. An accident while leading on lap one of the Qatar season opener being swiftly followed by a massive jump start in Texas.
Nerves in the damp Assen race proved a further low point but the Spaniard struck back in style during the second half of the season, scoring more points than any other rider. Nevertheless it proved too late to reach any higher than third in the standings, behind Marquez and Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo feels the championship order reflects the current favourites for this year's crown.
“Last year I certainly was not [a strong title contender] because I was never there in the first races because of the mistakes. I prefer not to assume the favourite role because I'm not this time,” he said. “I think the final result of the championship was in line with how the season went. I think Marquez should be the favourite, and then Valentino. Dani and I are behind until the opposite is proven.”
This will be Lorenzo's sixth season as a team-mate to Rossi. Lorenzo is the only MotoGP team-mate to beat Rossi in the championship standings (2010 and 2013), although the Italian finished higher in 2008, 2009 and 2014.
Commenting on their rivalry, Lorenzo stated: “Well, the first opponent you should beat is always your team-mate because you ride with the same bike and if he rolls faster that means you are slower. If you are the best in the garage then you are able to challenge your team to improve, or give you a better bike, but if your team-mate is winning you have to beat him so for me it is a great motivation. Valentino is very strong and if the fight is just between us [this year], then Yamaha should be very happy!”
Lorenzo, 27, won the MotoGP crown in 2010 and 2012. He will thus be seeking to beat Marquez to the honour of becoming Spain's first ever triple premier-class champion.
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