As ever, the final lap time does not always tell the full story.
While Pol Espargaro stated that he feels Jorge Lorenzo is “on another planet” at this weekend's Aragon MotoGP, the Majorcan himself is still wary of the pace of team-mate and title rival Valentino Rossi.
Fatest in both Friday sessions and 0.68s clear of his Movistar Yamaha team-mate, Lorenzo was irresistible under the Spanish sun - but he maintains that this advantage is only so distinct over a single “explosive” lap.
A level above even Marc Marquez in free practice at Brno, Silverstone and Misano, Lorenzo maintained his recent speed in dry conditions but on Friday evening he was quick to point to both his and Rossi's pace on the third lap of a qualifying run.
“I don't think it's a lot,” said the four-time world champion of the gap between the Yamaha men. “It's true that over one explosive lap the difference is quite big because I was very fast over this first lap. A 1 minute 47.5s, I've never been so fast at this track. But then the second and especially the third were more or less the same as his third lap.
“The first two laps I was clearly faster but the race is very long. I think I still didn't arrive to my real limit of probably one lap but especially the pace. I think we can improve the pace. We made some modifications this afternoon but I wasn't completely satisfied. We can go back a little bit in some areas in the morning and improve some things for tomorrow. I think we can do an even better pace.”
Having tested here twice already in 2015, Lorenzo was quick to lay down a marker on Friday morning, posting his fastest time on just the fifth lap of the day.
His sensational speed in the second half of the year caused Rossi to remark that an increase in Lorenzo's concentration and focus was the underlying reason for his recent speed. When this was put to the current championship runner up he agreed, stating he felt he was quicker than ever in both England and Italy.
“I believe and I felt that in Silverstone and Misano I was riding better than ever. Unfortunately they were the worst two races of the season. But this is racing sometimes. This can happen. You feel stronger than ever and you can feel good but you have these kind of results for whatever reason.
“We hope that here the weather forecast seems stable and sunny can keep like that. For the moment we have started in the best way. It's not so bad to start like that in Aragon, one of the worst tracks for Yamaha, theoretically.”
Pressed to specify why he now feels stronger than ever, Lorenzo would only enigmatically add, “I understood some things that I didn't understand in these years to go faster. Now I know.”
An unsuccessful season is often filled with ifs and buts. Should the 67th premier class title eventually go to Tavullia and not Majorca Lorenzo will surely point to these races at Silverstone and Misano as the turning points. Improving in the rain, he conceded, is something he is all-too-aware of.
“As I always say probably I'm not the clearly best one in the rain. Statistically and historically I won some races in the rain but if you take all the races in the rain over the years it looks like I miss something, no? Not always. Sometimes in the rain I feel very strong and very fast and I can win the race. But it's true. In the rain it's a combination of factors that can make you very strong. You have to be cautious and to have a little fear but not too much.
“To find this compromise is not simple. You have to be very sensitive, it's not simple. For example, last year in Aragon I was the fastest one in these five laps with the wet tyres but for sure in Silverstone I was much slower than Marc and Valentino in the start of the race. I couldn't fight for the win. It depends. I'm going to try to improve this matter and I have a margin to improve this in the future. It's difficult to do it because there are not so much occasions of these conditions.”