Jorge Lorenzo exclaimed he possesses a “great bike” and a “great pace” in the wake of a stunning lap that carried him to the 63rd pole position of his career in Le Mans.
The reigning world champion was in commanding form as he became the first man to dip under the 1m 32s barrier around the 2.6-mile French track, to end the 15-minute qualifying session with an advantage of four tenths of a second over Marc Marquez.
Speaking in the official press conference that followed, Lorenzo explained how his Yamaha M1's strong base setting allowed him to focus on “all the small details, in all the corners” on Saturday, leaving him in a confident frame of mind ahead of the 28-lap race.
“[I'm] Very happy because the lap was amazing," said the Spaniard. "I didn't expect to be so fast. I expected to stay in 32 low but not this 31.9. Even in Free Practice 4 I felt really comfortable in the last laps with the old tyre, so I imagine that I could improve this seven or eight tenths. But finally I improve almost one second. So it was a great lap, especially great work from the team.
“From the first practice on Friday we already got a good base setup then little by little and practice by practice we improve the bike, all the small details, in all the corners. So I think we have a great bike to have a great pace, and also was ready to make a good lap time.
“For the moment everything looks very good for the race, but practice is practice and the race is the race. Let's see if the conditions don't change so much for tomorrow and the rest of the riders don't improve their performance for the race.”
Such was the Majorcan's speed throughout Saturday, the best second placed Marquez could hope for was, in his own words, to “follow Lorenzo a minumum for some laps.”
Critical of Michelin's harder rear tyre that Lorenzo felt cost him a chance of victory in Jerez, the Movistar Yamaha man was complimentary of the grip offered by the French firm's new compounds on offer in France.
“I think everyone is very happy with the work of Michelin. They work hard and very quick. So this is a problem that in the past we didn't have in the championships. We have to congratulate the hard work, and fast, of Michelin.
“Obviously to get the best grip, the same grip as we got in the preseason in Qatar it requires a little bit of time but for the moment the problem we improve maybe 30 or 40%, so that's great. I think we got quite a good tire to race tomorrow.
“The new tyre from Michelin is especially softer in the center, probably also in the sides. So it's more similar to a tire we got in the preseason in the Qatar race. So this helps for sure to avoid the problems we got mostly of the riders in the race. We see tomorrow but should not give the same problem.”