Jorge Lorenzo avoided injury in a fast Turn 11 fall during the opening minutes of the German MotoGP weekend at the Sachsenring.

But that was about the only good news for the reigning world champion on Friday, which he finished down in 16th place and with his Yamaha 'not competitive in any area'.

"I'm well. I don't have any injuries, any broken bones and I can ride like normal," began Lorenzo, whose accident occurred moments after Scott Redding and just before Stefan Bradl had also lost the front at the same turn.

"The tarmac was very cold and I entered [Turn 11] slightly faster than on my previous lap. Maybe some little degrees of difference in lean angle and then the front closed. I was much slower than last year, but the conditions and the tyres were not the same."

A total of five riders took a Friday trip down the 'Waterfall' corner, one of the most notorious turns on the MotoGP calendar due to its fast, off-camber character preceded by a long tyre-cooling sequence of left handers.

"This corner is very fast, one of the fastest in the championship, with off-camber, and you arrive after so many corners on the left side," Lorenzo confirmed.

Michelin has rolled out two new asymmetric front tyres, with softer rubber on the right, for its first Sachsenring appearance as official supplier. However, Lorenzo believes the selection was still too hard for the conditions.

"I believe that for these conditions - especially this morning, this afternoon was a little hotter - even with the softest tyre option, still the [tyres] were too hard," he said.

"I went 20km/h slower than last year and much less lean angle but I crashed anyway. In the rest of the corners the problem is much less, but still you need to be very careful, especially in the morning."

Whilst it is easy to suggest the early accident dented Lorenzo's confidence, especially following such a miserable wet race at Assen, all the Yamaha riders struggled badly on Friday.

Tech 3's Pol Espargaro was best of the M1s in eleventh place (+1.239s), with team-mate Bradley Smith twelfth and Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi 14th.

With only the top ten advancing directly to Qualifying 2, the Yamaha quartet will be forced to push hard in Saturday morning's FP3.

"I'm ok," Lorenzo insisted, when asked about his confidence. "I'm sure that if tomorrow we would race at Le Mans or Mugello I would be fast, I would be competitive. But just a combination of some not-good factors that make me slow.

"Today we saw that all the Yamahas struggled with these conditions. No Yamaha was in the top ten and I struggled a little bit more because with no grip and after the crash this morning it was difficult to push and to trust the bike.

"At this moment we are not competitive in any area. Neither braking, the middle of the corner - because the electronic together with low grip is not reacting smoothly - and then also in acceleration we don't have grip.

"That's why we were are 1.5s slower."

Fortunately warmer weather is forecast for Saturday, but with the threat of rain on Sunday.

Lorenzo confirmed he tried the M1 with the fuel tank further to the rear, but it was hard to draw any conclusions.

"Today was not the right day to try. You can feel a little bit of difference but still we don't have a clear mind to decide, but it is not a big difference."

Lorenzo is 24 points from Honda's Marc Marquez, who was third fastest on Friday.

By Peter McLaren


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