11 September 2015
MotoGP: Lorenzo talks wings after flying Misano lap
"We tried it in Aragon and I wanted to try as soon as possible here, to see if it can have some benefits" - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo took some new Yamaha wings to a record-breaking lap time in Friday MotoGP practice at Misano.
The parts appeared in the closing stages of FP2 - prompting Andrea Iannone to nudge his Ducati crew chief and point at the TV - after which Lorenzo moved to the top of the timesheets with a 1m 32.871s.
That lap, set using medium compound tyres after earlier experimenting with the hard rear, put the Spaniard 0.053s clear of Honda's Marc Marquez.
On Thursday, Lorenzo spoke of trying some unnamed new parts during a recent private test at Aragon and following FP2 the #99 confirmed he had been referring to the winglets.
“The idea is more than 15 years [old] because Yamaha used it in '99 with Checa and Biaggi, but they didn't keep using it in the next years and now we put it again," Lorenzo said.
"Ducati started to use it this year again, so they started and we made more or less the same to see what happened. We tried it in Aragon and I wanted to try as soon as possible here, to see if it can have some benefits.”
And are there benefits?
“We are not sure still,” he replied. “We have to see the telemetry. It's not a big difference, because if it was, we would notice so much from the first lap. But if it can give you a very small advantage, it's better.”
Team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi, currently twelve points in front of Lorenzo, did not test the winglets on Friday. The Italian was fifth fastest on Friday for his local event (+0.598s).
“Is possible,” replied Rossi, when asked if he will try the winglets later in the weekend. “Can be an option, because we already tried in the [Aragon] test and the first feeling was not so bad. Is a small help but a small help can make a small difference.”
Ducati has run similar 'winglets' since the start of the season, mainly aimed at reducing wheelies on corner exit, with a higher downforce version appearing at the Sachsenring.
The Yamaha wings are a similar size, but instead of being mounted midway up the fairing, they are located directly under the air intake at the front of the bike.
Wings or not, Lorenzo is clearly the man to beat after day one, setting twelve sub-1m 34s laps this afternoon. Next best was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa with nine, with seven for Rossi and five each for Marquez and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.
“I feel strong, I feel in one of the best shapes of my career because I have experience, the Yamaha is working very well and we are doing a great job with the team," Lorenzo said.
“When you arrive also at a track that suits your bike and riding, things should be good and that's what happened today. Even though we didn't have a test here like Honda.
“But you know Honda, if they had the test just three or four days before the grand prix it would be a huge difference. But one month before the race means it is just a small advantage for them.”
Lorenzo has never finished lower than second at Misano since joining MotoGP in 2008, including three wins in a row from 2011 to 2013.
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