14 September 2015
MotoGP Misano: Lorenzo: Two mistakes, no regrets
MotoGP title contender Jorge Lorenzo explains what went wrong in Sunday's Misano race
Jorge Lorenzo took a hit to his right hand and 2015 title hopes when he fell at high-speed in the closing stages of a hectic Misano MotoGP race.
The Spaniard had been embroiled in a close duel with team-mate and title rival Valentino Rossi, but disaster struck through the fast turn 15 shortly after pitting for his dry bike.
The race began on slicks, with riders forced onto their wet bikes when rain spots turned into a steady shower. After converting pole into the race lead, Lorenzo retained a narrow advantage over Marc Marquez and Rossi during that first pit stop.
Lorenzo then lost out to Rossi during the wet middle stages, with Marquez ducking out of the battle for a return to slicks as the conditions improved again with ten laps to go - a decision that would hand victory to the Honda rider .
By contrast the boys in blue were the last to stop, costing them both a shot at victory. Speaking in the Misano paddock on Sunday evening, Lorenzo explained his reasoning for staying out so long.
“Maybe you can win if you enter the pits and change to the slicks early, but if you crash [in the wet] you can lose the championship,” he said. “So that's why, knowing that I was second, I waited a little bit to see what Valentino was doing because if we both entered the pits at the same time, with dry tyres, maybe I could be faster than him afterwards.
“But if I entered the pits [before Rossi] and then it started raining I could crash and get injured, or he might win and I'd lose 25 points. For this reason I decided to stay out. Maybe I made a mistake. One of two mistakes today.
“Probably I needed to trust more what the team were saying on the pit board because they were looking at the lap times and everything. But now it's too late and it's not worth complaining because it's done.”
Lorenzo did ultimately pit one lap before Rossi. It was too late to win the race, but could have been enough to pass the #46. However Lorenzo's challenge came undone in dramatic fashion when he was sent tumbling through the gravel trap on his out lap.
“The second mistake was after the second stop. It was very difficult to warm-up the tyre and get used to the feeling again of the slick tyre,” he said. “When Redding passed me so quick I lost a little bit the patience, because I felt I was going too slow and needed to hurry up or they would all catch me.
“That's why for one moment I didn't pay attention that this corner [Turn 15] is a left after many rights. You have to be careful there even in the dry. I didn't pay attention to this factor and I entered too quick for the temperature of the rear tyre. That was the mistake, because if I was a little more patient second or third place would have been mine.”
Lorenzo's consolation was that X-rays ruled out an injury to his right hand, while Rossi could only manage fifth place, his worst result of the season. Nevertheless, The Doctor is now 23 points ahead with five rounds remaining.
“We have to be positive, there is no point to complain or regret anything,” said a calm and relaxed Lorenzo, bearing visible scrapes on his forearms. “I made these two mistakes. I'll try to learn from it for the future. Now it's 23 points, but during this year we previously recovered 29 points.
“So it's possible that can happen again, or that Valentino can make some mistakes. For sure he will have some pressure, because now he has more to lose than to win. I have much less to lose than especially Silverstone but also here.
“To be honest in the dry conditions I feel ready to fight for the victory in all the tracks. But obviously we don't need any more races like today or Silverstone. This is true.”
He joked: “Today was just not my day. I was making a Formula One race on the Playstation and I ran out of fuel on the last lap. So I couldn't even finish a race on a Playstation!”
The next round will be held in front of Lorenzo's home Spanish fans at Aragon, where he took victory in the wet one year ago.
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