Jorge Lorenzo the latest on the brakes? It's not a statement you'd normally associate with the triple MotoGP champion, whose silky smooth riding-style relied on corner speed rather than braking while at Yamaha.

But Pramac's Danilo Petrucci has revealed that at Jerez, where Lorenzo took his first Ducati podium, the Spaniard was braking later than any other rider on the Desmosedici GP17.

"Lorenzo made the difference in Jerez, because looking at his data, especially on braking, he was very very fast," Petrucci said at Le Mans on Thursday. "Especially because usually, the Ducati riders who brake deepest are me and Dovi.

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"It was quite strange, because he could brake later and with more pressure. I never had the chance to see the data of Lorenzo with Yamaha, but with Ducati, usually he brakes a little bit earlier and with less pressure.

"In Jerez, especially at Turn 6, at the end of the back straight, and Turn 13, the last corner, Lorenzo always brake ten-twelve metres after me and Dovi. It was quite impressive, because we were already on the limit."

Might it have been because Lorenzo opted for a medium, rather than the hard, front tyre?

"I don't think it's only the front tyre. Sincerely, when we tried the two tyres, the difference was not big, but we were scared about the consumption of the front, so we decided to use the hard, like a lot of riders. I don't know... I think Lorenzo started to ride the bike in the proper way, and this will be a problem for me! [Laughs]"

Lorenzo, who didn't use the rear brake at Yamaha, has been learning how to get the most from the technique at Ducati.

"Like me and Dovizioso, he is using the thumb brake," Petrucci confirmed, "because without the rear brake, it's quite impossible to use the Ducati. We have two rear brakes, one for the foot and one for the thumb, and it's very important.

"We use it a lot inside the corner, to try to stop the bike without weight transfer.

"For example, if you are going into a tight right-hand corner and you try to brake on the front, for sure the weight goes on the front and when you are approaching the exit of the corner, if you pull down the front of the bike, the bike turns less.

"So if you use the rear brake, the front comes up and helps you to turn the bike better, to let the bike turn back. Especially we use it when we are releasing the front brake and opening the throttle. In that point, the using of the rear brake is continuous. So it's like the rear brake gives the bike more stability, and this is better."

Petrucci, who matched his best finish of the season with seventh at Jerez, is looking for a strong Le Mans to springboard into his home round at Mugello.

"I want to be fast like the two races, like in Jerez or in Austin, because I want to arrive in Mugello in a positive way, and I want to show, especially to myself, that I can stay in the front every race," he said.

"I understood that I can be in the middle of the factory guys, so my target is to be for sure one of the best Ducatis at the end of the race. It's very difficult, in Jerez I finished two seconds behind Dovizioso, like in Austin, but my qualifying practice was not so good."

By Peter McLaren

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