1 May 2015
MotoGP Jerez: Lorenzo: I'm grateful Yamaha has faith in me
Jorge Lorenzo tops free practice times on day one at Jerez in Spain - after being confirmed as factory Yamaha rider for 2016
Jorge Lorenzo believes he can recapture his best form with Yamaha after topping the free practice times at Jerez in Spain on Friday - on a day when it was confirmed the two-time MotoGP champion would remain with the factory in 2016.
The news was something of a surprise since Lorenzo, like team-mate Valentino Rossi, had been announced as signing a new two-year contract last season. A photo of Lorenzo holding a pit board reading "2015 2016 OK" was even issued.
However it turned out there were options that could have seen the Spaniard leave Yamaha at the end of this year.
“Yesterday [when the deal was done] was a great day for me and I am very grateful that Yamaha has faith in me even in a very hard moment," Lorenzo said. "Also from last year, especially the beginning of last year, not getting so many victories, then these three races.
"My dream is still the same, to retire with Yamaha. Not so many riders can say they stay in MotoGP in the same team in all the years. But you never know what will happen.
"What is for sure is for 2015, 2016 I will stay with Yamaha, especially I want to thank this faith with results, with victories, with pole positions, and fight as soon as possible for the world title again."
On track, the Movistar Yamaha rider headed the morning and afternoon sessions, setting a fastest lap overall in FP1 of 1m 39.174s to lead Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro on the combined day one times by 0.049s with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez in third.
“My mentality from this morning was to go for it and don't think too much, just try to ride according to my instinct and it worked very well, especially in the morning,” he added.
“In the afternoon we tried the hard rear tyre that was very bad, with lots of spinning for everyone and I decided to go back to the softer one, since that one is much better in cold but also in warmer conditions.
“This time the hardest option is too hard and doesn't give you confidence.”
In the cooler temperatures in FP1, Lorenzo set the best lap of the day in 1m 39.174s to lead the way from Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow on the CWM LCR Honda.
The pace slowed slightly in FP2 as the temperatures rose, but Lorenzo was again fastest in 1m 39.300s from Marquez by 0.128s with Ducati's Andrea Iannone in third.
"This morning I was fast from the beginning, this afternoon we struggled a little bit more. But I think at this track we have improved, especially the entry of the corners. The [full seamless] gearbox helped and also the engine braking was working very well, But let's see what happens at 2 o'clock on Sunday."
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