Jorge Lorenzo has admitted a brief lapse in concentration was enough to cause the fall that put paid to his hopes of winning his first MotoGP race in Ducati colours at a soaking wet Misano circuit on Sunday.

As witnessed at each of the previous three rounds, there were signs of the Lorenzo of old in the opening six laps, the 30-year old sweeping majestically to an early lead, before setting about building a sizeable margin.

Starting lap seven, Lorenzo was already 4.5s clear of the chasing pack, headed at that time by Danilo Petrucci. However, it was around this moment that the five-time world champion’s mind drifted to matters other than what lay ahead on the treacherous 2.6-mile track.

Lorenzo had wanted to select a different engine map, and as he considered this, he tipped into turn six. Soon he was “flying” in the air. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said, while acknowledging he had thrown away the “first chance” to score a victory since his switch from Yamaha machinery.

“Today, the track in the wet was a bit more tricky than normal,” he began. “I'm still understanding everything on the Ducati. So today, I just wanted to change the map on the electronics and this caused me a little bit to lose concentration in some corners.

“Especially in that corner, I made the change of direction a little bit quicker and not using the rear brake, with less pressure, and because the track was so critical that a small change to your riding makes a big difference, and I couldn't stay on the bike.

“So I crashed. It was over. A big pity because today we had the first chance to win with the Ducati, but we lost it. But it's a matter of time before another podium arrives, for sure, and maybe even a victory.

“I won some races like that in the past. I won in Jerez 2011 with 10 seconds advantage, something like that. In Le Mans 2012 with 14 seconds. Normally when I am leading the race, I am very good at managing this distance.”

Pressed to specify how the Ducati mapping settings differs to those he was used to when riding for Yamaha, Lorenzo explained: “The system on the Ducat is a little more complex, so it's still not natural to me, because I usually don't change it too much within the weekend. So I'm still not completely adapted to all the possibilities, where I am, where I have to go.

“And this causes me to lose a little bit the concentration of riding, just sliding. That doesn't mean that I couldn't ride, or I went away from the track, but it's changing a little bit the riding in the change of direction, slightly faster and not using the rear brake so much and I completely lost the rear and I was flying.

“I didn't expect this crash, that the way I rode this change of direction caused me to lose the rear so aggressively. But it happened, and it's a big pity. I couldn't believe it when I was flying over. But when you are racing in the rain, this can happen.”

A frustrating DNF this may be, but Lorenzo can look back on the past four rounds – Brno, where he led before a strategy error, Austria, where he led the first part of the race and Silverstone, where he finished just 3.5s off the race winner – and see clear progress.

Even without today’s driving rain, the #99 feels he could have run with the leading group. “Obviously in the dry, we are not far, but also we are not the fastest with the best pace," he said. "But we are very close. And this weekend, I believe that in a dry race, we could stay there with the front group, a little bit better than in Silverstone.

“But it rained, and in the rain I knew I was really strong, because in the warm up I felt strong, I wasn't pushing, so in the race I felt even better. We made a modification which gave me a little bit more confidence, so just riding quite calmly I opened the gap, one second each lap.

“But I believe that this lack of concentration for this reason of the electronics caused me to crash. It was obvious that today you couldn't afford to have these things out of your control to survive. And I didn't have that. So we need to change this for the future, and next time, probably it won't happen again.”

The result drops Lorenzo to ninth in the world championship, 20 points back of Johann Zarco in sixth.


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