Jorge Lorenzo said any chance he had of challenging for victory in Qatar was ruined when a problem with his helmet hampered his vision, causing him to lose half-a-second a lap.

The Movistar Yamaha rider had been in contention at Losail for much of the race as he swapped the lead with eventual runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, but in the final stages the double premier class champion suddenly dropped back and was passed by Andrea Iannone, who went on to finish third.

Lorenzo managed to come home in fourth place ahead of the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, but felt he was denied a strong to fight for a victory in the first race of 2015.

"The foam that covers all the head was slipping down when I was leading, about seven or eight laps from the end. The last time that Dovi passed me was because I couldn't see," he said.

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"I was [lapping] 1m 55.9, then when this happened I was 1m 56.3 and 56.4. I couldn't see the corners very well and couldn't concentrate or ride like before and I was losing half a second or more per lap."

Asked if he felt he could have pushed team-mate Valentino Rossi and Ducati's Dovizioso for the win on the final laps had the problem not surfaced, Lorenzo said he felt he could have come out on top.

"Yes, because I was feeling very well, little by little, better and better, especially in the last corners because I was going faster and faster," he said.

"But I had to close the throttle and go slow if I didn't want to crash because I didn't have enough vision to ride well. On the speed and in braking the Ducati was much stronger than our bike, but we could recover on corner speed while the acceleration was similar.

"To be honest, I thought that I could win the race, though it surely wasn't going to be easy, because Valentino had a very strong pace at the end of the race.

"We improved the setting and it was good. I'm very surprised [to finish ahead of the Repsol Hondas] because they were completely the package for this race," Lorenzo added.

"Something happened with Dani's pace because he was slower than normal; Marquez made a mistake but also his pace wasn't special, so I don't know what happened."


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Helmet damage or no, all you need do is look at the lap analysis. Lorenzo said he was going half a second slower... no, Rossi was going half a second quicker. Lorenzo lapped consistently in the 1:56.2s. Rossi was lapping in the high 1:55s. That allowed him to catch the group at the front. Then he slowed to their pace until the last 5+ laps when (just as Lorenzo's helmet supposedly fell apart) he and Dovi dropped down into the 1:55s again, dropping Lorenzo and Iannone. Then Rossi dropped again, into the low to mid 1:55s pulling away from Dovi.

Except for a single bad lap, Lorenzo's pace never really changed from the 1:56.2s. Typical, super consistent pace that normally would have put him in contention for the win. Rossi just found something special.

Ive got a top quality 1970's Britax open face up in he loft he can have for a fiver, it was the dog danglies way back then, he can have the chin cup for free