Tight, slow and some way from motorcycle friendly it may be, but Jorge Lorenzo believes the Circuit of Catalunya's revised final sector can be attacked and ridden well if aboard a Honda RC213V after ending Wednesday's private test second fastest behind Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo was quick from the off in cooler morning temperatures, posting a 1m 43.9s lap time early into the second day of putting Ducati's GP17 through its paces at a painfully hot track at Barcelona.

Marquez would deny him the fastest time as the afternoon session neared completion however, the reigning world champion lapping the track close to two tenths of a second quicker.

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Having noted the times, Lorenzo concluded his machine was working well in sectors one and two. On the Ducati, the third, which features a tightened turn ten, and an equally hokey chicane where turn twelve once was, was tough to manouvre, and lost close to 0.3s to the quickest Honda.

"Well, when we've got rear grip we've been competitive, apart from the last sector, which looks like a sector made for Honda," said Lorenzo of his day. "They have a much shorter bike and the agility that they have is impressive. They are three tenths faster.

"In the rest of the track we are OK. We are very similar to them. We didn't have something really new. [We had] Some small new parts which have been a little bit better. So it was more a test to adapt better with the bike, to feel more natural, and it worked a lot. We are trying to make the engine a little more smooth, more controllable for the rider. And we make a small step forward."

Asked whether he enjoyed riding the final section, Lorenzo continued, "For me, the problem was what happened with Luis [Salom]. Without this the track would be the same as before. In my opinion we just needed to put gravel in that corner. Just that. But they changed the track just because of the accident. That's my opinion."

Riders used the stiffer front tyre construction that was raced at Valencia last year after a vote led to the rubber's reintroduction to the allocation for Mugello. In Jerez Lorenzo said he noticed no real difference. But in the severe heat at Montmel? said it had positive stability and grip.

"It doesn't absorb the bumps very well. The stability is good. This grip with this temperature was OK. We have to see with cold conditions. With less grip and in cold conditions, if you don't push the tyre, you are not aggressive on the brakes, then it's going to be difficult to warm up and it's going to be delicate. For here it was OK."

Ducati now heads to its home race at Mugello, a circuit which saw a rider in Bologna red ascend the podium in each of the past two visits. Yet rather than focus purely on results, Lorenzo is aiming to be the quickest Ducati rider come Sunday, with a gap to the race winner that is less than that of Jerez.

"It's the same importance in getting good results as improving the bike for the rest of the season in Bologna. My goal is to keep being the best Ducati rider at the next tracks. Let's see if I can do it, like in Jerez, because in Le Mans without time it was difficult for me to start in front.

"Also in the race I didn't have the best set-up to arrive at the limit. Dovizioso was clearly faster than me. My goal is with more time in Mugello, and more time here, to be the fastest Ducati rider with the best position, and improve this 14 seconds to the leader that I had in Jerez."

Is a win within the realms of possibility, he was asked. "Anything is possible," the five-time world champion answered. "We need something more. In normal conditions we need something more to fight for the win. But you never know. Maybe in Mugello we'll find the right set-up and the tyre is constant and we can fight for the win. Who knows?"

By Neil Morrison

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