Jorge Lorenzo couldn't help but smile at the fact his best chance of a Ducati victory so far came in damp conditions at Brno on Sunday, conditions often viewed as his weak point.

The triple MotoGP champion led the opening three laps of the Czech Republic Grand Prix on a drying track, but saw his hopes collapse when his dry bike wasn't ready at the pit stop.

Now MotoGP heads straight to Austria, where Ducati claimed a one-two finish last season. Is the Red Bull Ring Lorenzo's best chance of a debut Desmosedici win?

"You never know! On Sunday I think I had options to win the race, but I was unlucky that the conditions changed and it became a flag-to-flag race, which for me is always tricky," Lorenzo said.

"If we had the race in the rain I think we had a chance to win. But obviously I would like to win also in the dry and Austria is the track theoretically better for the Ducati. Let's see if I am ready enough to fight for the win."

He added: "Probably I would like to have Austria at the end of the season! Because for sure I would be more prepared and more natural with the bike, but it's okay. It's better now than the first round. I think we arrive in a good point because we found something on the bike that gives me more confidence. I'm faster and more consistent. So Austria arrives just in time."

Lorenzo's competitive Brno form - he was also fourth in dry final practice and sixth in qualifying -  coincided with the arrival of the new Ducati fairing.

"It helps in corner entry and braking, but also in the middle of the corners. I am a rider who needs a lot of front contact because I put my body weight very far from the bike. So I really need to feel the front stay on the ground. If not I suffer. This fairing it gives me much more pros than cons, for my riding.

"Andrea [Dovizioso] tried it today [at the Brno test] and he is doubting about that. He feels better on braking, better on acceleration, but in some areas he didn't like it. I don't feel so much negative things, apart from the top speed.

"It's difficult to arrive at the level of the old wings, but they've been made for that."

Quizzed on why he prefers to run the shorter bi-plane version, rather than the full tri-plane fairing, Lorenzo replied: "It doesn't change so much for the moment. We have to study a little bit more but it's a very small difference."

Lorenzo set the fourth fastest lap time at the dry Monday test, as the top Ducati rider and just 0.380s from the top.

"[My form] is not only about that. I used the wings all weekend and kept using them today, but also we found some settings that for me will be very important to be faster. To be more confident, for my riding. That's why we are very satisfied about today's test."

The #99 also tried the new swingarm used by team-mate Andrea Dovizioso: "A small difference, we need to study a little bit more. What are the gains and loses."

Meanwhile the verdict on the prototype 2018 tyre was clearer: "The general comment from everyone was a little bit worse, a little more vibration. So I hope that they don’t put it for next year and the bring another one to test."

Free practice in Austria starts on Friday morning.

Comments

Loading Comments...