27 June 2016
MotoGP Assen: Lorenzo: I felt like quitting
'I was going to enter the pits because I was 19th and I wouldn't get any points. I was taking risks' - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo pondered retiring from the first race in the Dutch TT at Assen after struggling in 19th position in the rain.
The Movistar Yamaha rider felt he had no front grip under braking and said he was constantly receiving warning signs from his M1 that he was on the verge of crashing.
Lorenzo, though, felt slightly more comfortable with the softer rear tyre fitted in Race 2 and with less surface water on the track he rallied to score six championship points in 10th place.
“I gained because the others crashed, not because I was overtaking. But I was not competitive. It was very difficult to be competitive in the first race because I was probably slower than ever, especially when all the big water came,” he said.
“I was slower and slower, I wasn't safe and I didn't see anything. For not crashing I had to slow down. I was very far even to the next rider. I was going to enter the pits because I was 19th and I wouldn't get any points. I was taking risks. I even thought to stop in the pits but luckily I didn't. I could restart the race,” Lorenzo added.
“In the second race with the soft rear tyre and less water on the track I was better, but still I was one of the slowest riders. [Maverick] Viñales was there and [Eugene] Laverty too. But the only thing I could do was try not to crash and finish the race in tenth place – that's it.
“It looks like with this front tyre that's never been used. We made 30 laps and the tyre looks new. I suffer more than the other riders. The other riders, when they don't have front grip, suffer less.”
Lorenzo said he felt he was pushing himself during the race but he was unable to be competitive nonetheless.
“It's not that I was just going quiet. I was pushing in braking, pushing in acceleration and pushing in the middle of the corner. But the bike was giving me warnings in all the areas,” he said. “If you are slow and getting all the warnings then you can crash. Even if I was slow I wasn't safe and I think it's maybe the front.
“When I feel the front doesn't have grip under braking, with the style I have and the position of my body on the bike I suffer more than the other riders. I am not able to suddenly change my riding, especially to gain the time on braking in the entry of the corner.
“Normally I sacrifice the other corner to have corner speed but if you don't have corner speed in the middle of the corner you do not gain. And you also lose on braking. That's the only way,” he added.
“When I have front feeling, like Motegi, in the rain I've been able to be the fastest one. But when I don't have it I can be the last one. I suffered more than the others and that's what happened today.”
The reigning world champion is 24 points behind Marc Marquez after the first eight races but is taking the positives away from Assen, pointing out that title rival Valentino Rossi endured an even worse weekend.
“For me it can be much worse. Being the fastest one, like Rossi was, and crash and have zero points. I was the slowest one but at least I have six points now,” he said.
“That's more than Rossi in third and I could minimise a little bit, even if Marc finished second, to the leader. Before Le Mans I have 20 points of disadvantage. Now I have 24. The last two races were very bad. In Montmeló I lost nine or ten points because I'd have finished sixth or seventh. Here I at least gained six points, which could be important for the championship.
“In 2013 for example I lost the championship by four points. You have to think positively and let's see if in the future it rains, with a softer front tyre I can feel better,” said Lorenzo. “If not it's not this simple to radically change my riding style.”
The Mallorcan admitted the 250th MotoGP race could have been his worst ever in the premier class if the original race had not been stopped.
“If they didn't cancel the race it could have been my worse race. This one and the one in 2014 is quite similar to be honest. Two very bad races. I don't know which is the worst one,” said Lorenzo, who agrees with the view that Marquez is now prepared to accept second place when a victory is beyond him.
“On Marquez, this is the fourth championship year and he has more experience than before. Probably he's been lucky to crash a lot of times on the track but not in the race. Yeah, he looks more conservative when he can't win. For some reasons, the track was complicated and he stay on the bike.
“He has a lot of merit. For example he had a big moment yesterday. Had he crashed he could have injured himself very badly. You never know if you crash you can injure yourself in a big moment,” e added.
“We cannot say he won't crash and he cannot make mistakes. You're always at the limit. Everyone can make mistakes and get zero points like Rossi did today.”
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