24 September 2016
MotoGP Aragon: Soft rear a viable option for Lorenzo
'We have to decide the rear tyre and it is going to be an important decision and it looks like now we are quite competitive with the soft one' - Jorge Lorenzo.
Jorge Lorenzo is contemplating using the softer rear Michelin tyre for Sunday's 14th round of the MotoGP World Championship at Aragon after struggling with the hard rear option.
Lorenzo qualified on the front row in third place using the soft compound and admits he could gamble and run the tyre for the race, admitting his decision tomorrow will be critical to his chances.
“It's complicated because as soon as we put the medium front and the hard rear, we struggle a lot compared to the other riders to be fast with this bike this year and with this track,” said the current world champion.
“I knew that in qualifying with the soft rear tyre I was able to fight for the first row and I did, so for the moment with the hard rear tyre we struggle, so maybe the soft rear tyre could be an option for tomorrow for us.
“Michelin bring here quite hard tyres in the front and in the rear for the conditions of the track. Especially in the morning, it is very cold, so it is very easy to make a mistake and crash. In the afternoon it is a little bit better but still for us, too hard, so let's see what is the combination we will choose tomorrow.”
Explaining the problems he has been facing with the harder Michelin this weekend, Lorenzo said a lack of edge grip was proving particularly troublesome.
“One big problem with our bike in general and not only this year is that we don't have edge grip on the rear. Also the front is more free and turns worse; it's not a bike that turns by sliding and it is the opposite – when we are sliding on the rear the bike opens the line, so in this track we don't have edge front grip or rear grip, so with my riding I struggle more than the other riders with the hard rear,” he said.
“Yesterday I struggled and today I struggled again. The soft one is a good tyre for this track – the problem is that on the right after some laps it is quite destroyed. We have to decide the rear tyre and it is going to be an important decision and it looks like now we are quite competitive with the soft one.”
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has been in dominant form throughout practice and qualifying at Aragon, clinching pole by six tenths from Maverick Vinales. Lorenzo was 0.661s adrift in third and the Movistar Yamaha rider admits his compatriot is 'one or two steps' ahead.
“It's difficult and now he looks like he is one step or even two compared to the others but in 2014 I was in the worst scenario in the year for the qualifying and for the race, and I won the race.
“Obviously it was a strange race with the flag to flag: we had to change bikes and this gave me the chance to win. Maybe in dry conditions, normal conditions, I didn't [win] but especially in MotoGP this year everything is possible, so I will go and try my best. If I am ready to finish fourth I will fight for fourth, or third or second, or even the victory – you never know.”
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