Jorge Lorenzo has confirmed that he does not always use an airbag system in his leathers.

Questions were raised about whether the triple MotoGP champion rode with the safety device, when there were no visible signs of an airbag deployment following his huge practice highside at Motegi.

While airbag systems are currently optional, they will be compulsory for all MotoGP competitors from 2018.

"Mostly, whenever I can, I use the airbag because it's safer," said Lorenzo, who has the Alpinestars Tech-Air system available. "Just in the occasions I feel I have less probability to crash, I still prefer to use without.

"But every time I try to use the airbag more and we are working for me to feel comfortable with the airbag in all the conditions in the future."

In what way does the airbag feel less comfortable?

"It has more material, more plastic inside, and it's a little bit less flexible [gesturing to his shoulder area]. For other riders it's okay, for me sometimes when I feel safe enough for not crashing, I still feel better without.

"But every time I use [it] more and, as it will be mandatory in the future, I will have to get used to it for all the conditions."

Lorenzo was speaking after setting the tenth fastest time during a damp opening day at Sepang in Malaysia, meaning he will have direct access to Qualifying 2 should more rain fall on Saturday morning.

"We stopped in the afternoon because the track was getting dryer and dryer, but was not yet ready to be comfortable on the slick and we couldn't improve on the lap times this morning," explained the Movistar Yamaha rider.

"The feeling today was good. I just couldn't make more laps with the soft tyre, because we decided to try the hard tyre for the race, in case there was too much rain. I think today for the lap time it would have been better to stay with the softer one.

"I like the track, the [new] tarmac and there is no problem in the last corner. It's off-camber and on a normal track, with normal grip, it would be a big problem. But the grip is so good that even with a big [negative] banking there is enough grip.

"The only problem is some patches of water that are difficult to dry completely. Let's see if the weather is dry tomorrow. But we can be competitive, because the grip of the track is very good."

Team-mate Valentino Rossi was sixth quickest, courtesy of his FP1 time.



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