MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is remaining grounded following an ominously strong performance during pre-season testing, but the Movistar Yamaha rider has warned he will come out with all guns blazing this weekend in the Qatar night race.
Consistently fastest throughout the winter tests after quickly adapting to the control ECU and Michelin tyres introduced for 2016, Lorenzo wrapped up the final test at the Losail International Circuit earlier in March half-a-second clear of nearest challenger Scott Redding on the Octo Pramac Ducati.
The Mallorcan has a formidable record under the floodlights in Doha, taking premier class wins in 2012 and 2013 and finishing as the runner-up in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and third in 2009.
Last year, he crossed the line in an unfamiliar fourth place after encountering problems with his helmet visor impairing his vision but Lorenzo will begin his defence of his MotoGP world crown bristling with confidence as he targets a winning start to the new campaign on the factory YZR-M1.
“The pre-season is over and the real action will kick off under the floodlights of Losail. All of us are eager to start the true competition. The winter was so long and testing has not the same feeling as racing,” he said.
“I feel very strong and arrive very confident to this first match of the season. I'm happy I adapted quite well to the Michelin tyres and we proved it during two of three tests.
“However, we need to keep our feet on the ground because until Sunday the points are not distributed so we have to work hard from Thursday on to get a good position and then demonstrate our strong pace in the race,” Lorenzo said.
“I would like to start this 2016 season in the best way possible, especially compared to the beginning of 2015. Let's go into this race fighting and enjoy it.”