Jorge Lorenzo feels the fortunes of himself and Marc Marquez have reversed from Sepang after he struggled to acquire a positive feeling with the front end of his Yamaha M1 on day two of testing at Phillip Island.
Coming off an utterly dominant test in Sepang, Lorenzo struggled to find a setting that replicated the front end stability on which he thrives, causing him to comment, “it's not easy for me to be competitive”.
Furthermore, Lorenzo stated that a more physical riding approach was required and this, coupled with the less sophisticated electronics that don't aid tyre wear, meant riding around the Australian track's glorious curves was “three times more physical” than when he did so in 2015 trim.
“Marquez looks like here, he is much stronger than in Sepang,” began Lorenzo after ending the day third fastest, 0.226s off Maverick Viñales best time. “For us it's the opposite. We have so many problems on the front with stability, to ride with confidence on the throttle.
“We cannot keep the throttle very open because the front is very unstable in the corner. If we don't solve this we cannot arrive with the advantage that we had in Sepang.
“Yesterday and this morning we thought it was some Michelin rear tyre that was kind of not good, not completely round. But finally the last three or four tyres were OK I think. It was not the tyre. It was more the combination of the type of track we're at now, the type of tarmac and the type of corners. They are much faster than Sepang. We have these problems and we have to work on it.”
He continued to comment on the electronics, stating, “The tyres make you ride more physical and the electronics is a little bit more unpredictable, less sophisticated. You have to be very careful on the tyre, especially when the tyre start to drop.
“The tyre start to drop much quicker than last year because the performance of the rear tyre is better. But because it's better it's coming down the performance quicker. A combination of less sophisticated electronics and more drop of the rear tyre makes the bike much more physical. Here we are struggling to find stability on the front more so it's three times more physical.”
Although finding fault with several aspects of his set up, the reigning world champion maintained that his fastest time could have been better, had he fitted an ideal tyre combination toward the end of the day.
Both Maverick Viñales and Marc Marquez set fast times in the closing moments of the session and Lorenzo was quick to praise the Suzuki rider, who he believes “is riding really well.”
“They were fast because they were not so far from the lap times they made with the Bridgestone. To be honest with the good tyre on the front I didn't take profit to make a fast lap. I was concentrated on trying many things. When I had the good tyre on the front the rear was new so I couldn't improve to make a time attack like Marc and Maverick.
“But they are fast, especially Maverick. He likes the track and he's riding very well. If you compare his performance with Aleix the difference is huge. But anyway for sure it's his favourite track and this helps him to be quick.”