Jorge Lorenzo began Saturday at the Aragon MotoGP in eleventh place and 'very far' from the pace, during what was the first dry session of the weekend.

But he finished the day with second place in qualifying, just 0.1s form pole, equalling his best start yet as a Ducati rider.

"We were very far away this morning, a little bit because yesterday we could not practice in the dry and I still need some more time with this bike to understand how I have to ride at the maximum," Lorenzo said.

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"That's why I struggled so much this morning, but little-by-little also with some modifications each practice we've been better and better."

Lorenzo's slow start to the day meant he was forced to take part in Qualifying 1, which ultimately worked to his advantage.

"It was good to be in Qualifying 1 because it gave me 15 more minutes to understand things and I was ready to do a '47 in the last run in Qualifying 2.

"I'm very happy. It's my third front row of the season, but probably the most unexpected."

A double Aragon winner for Yamaha, Lorenzo feels he's finally starting to exploit the strengths of the Desmosedici, which is tied for the title lead in the hands of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

"I've started to like this bike a lot, that you have to ride completely or very, very different from [the Yamaha]," he said. "Each race I get something new and something that makes me faster. That's very positive and I think our pace in FP4 was very good. Tomorrow anything can happen, but I think with a good start we can have a good race."

A good start is exactly what Lorenzo got last time at Misano, when he rocketed into the lead of the wet race… only to fall after a mapping change.

"Better not to remember too much about that because it's makes me very angry!" he said. "But it can happen, normally I don't make so many mistakes. but in those conditions you just needed to change a small detail to lose the rear.

"But we've learned from that and I think we are more competitive each time in the dry, which is the normal circumstances."

Lorenzo's preference for front end stability means that, despite the long back straight at Aragon, he is running the full Ducati wing fairing.

"For me it's very important always to feel the front on the ground. Stability on the front," said the triple MotoGP champion. "That's why I have more benefit from the new fairing.

"The big one [maximum winglet spec] has slightly more front contact, so that's why even if I lose even more speed on the straight I want to use it for the rest of the track.

"Riders that don’t need so much this front contact can benefit from the top speed in the straight [with the normal fairing], without suffering in the corners."

Lorenzo, like pole sitter Maverick Vinales, hinted that he is strongly considering using th soft rear tyre for the race, but much will depend on morning warm-up.

Dovizioso will start the race from seventh place, 0.5s from Vinales.


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Good job JL, all the best for tomorrow. Steal the show, it's time.

Slowly slowly everything is coming together for the Spaniard, as he starts to tame the red beast. Hope he has a good race tomorrow, I'm with 'GORAW', it's time to steal the show. 

go Rossi,  go yamaha.

good luck, top five hopefully

Good luck #99 wish you all the best

The key would be not overcooking the tyres. Even with morning warmup, conditions may differ, eg. Track becoming hotter, rain falling, etc.

Good on him, he's been pretty patient and methodical, getting faster and understanding the bike. I expect he'll be right up front next year every race chasing after the championship

He's provided the most useful I sights to a MotoGP bike adaption. Its always a combination of bike and rider changes, and Jorge is improving steadily without compromising Dovi's title charge. 

I do think that it's this year or never for Dovi. He's perhaps going to have to really lay it on the line, but then again MM and MV probably have another zero-point weekend in them between now and the end of the season. Stick or twist???? 

Lorenzo should just shut up and ride his cycle. Every time he starts getting proud of himself, it ends in disappointment. When will he learn? If he flukes a podium (highly unlikely) he will be fist pumping and shouting the odds. Taking a leaf out of his vastly superior team mate's book would help. Dovi just gets on with it quietly, but very effectively.

Good ride from him today.  PATRICKD, you make a good point about his adaptation.  Bike/rider combo is key.  We all knew that the Ducati, despite being a much improved bike under GiGi, is still a different animal to the other bikes.  JL99's adaptation to it was probably the one thing everybody wanted to see.  Even though his season is still turning out to be more or less like everybody else's aside from Stoner (speaking in terms of raw numbers....i.e. podiums, WC position, etc.), he has produced some really strong starts and a few "near win" rides.