Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo hopes to try the standard fairing on the GP17 on Saturday after identifying some drawbacks with the aerodynamic version at Phillip Island in Australia.

Lorenzo was 11th fastest on day one and expected significant improvements since he last rode the Ducati at Phillip Island during winter testing, but the three-time MotoGP world champion said he experienced ‘more or less’ the same issues.

The Spaniard, who set his best lap in 1m 29.820s – half-a-second off pacesetter Aleix Espargaro – was also struggling to find a balance between front and rear grip.

“It’s both, the rear grip and also the front contact in the corners, I need grip, so it is very difficult to find the balance. We try to make the bike lower to gain more stability,” Lorenzo said.

“It will be difficult to find a compromise tomorrow but we have some ideas. The rear grip is very important but also the front. Also in this track we don’t know if the new fairing is more positive, so if we have time and conditions are dry, probably we will try the normal fairing.

“I am still using the same fairing as the last six races. The thing is here, we don’t have so much acceleration so the wheelie is not a big problem,” he added.

“The real problem I would say with the new fairing is the wind, and the bike becomes more unpredictable in some parts of the track and this can be more negative than positive, so we will see.”

The soft rear Michelin worked best for Lorenzo but he does not feel the tyre will be an option for the race on Sunday.

“I see so much difference when I put the softer rear but I don’t think it will last the race, especially for our bike. Even the medium start dropping so much, but I don’t think the soft can last the race,” he said.

“For the front tyre, the medium one for me is probably a little too hard, but with the soft one we already have some graining so it is not the perfect combination but it is the only one we have.”

His team-mate and title challenger Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest overall on Friday and Lorenzo admitted he expected more on his return to Phillip Island on the Ducati.

“I expected today to be much better than in pre-season but we still have in some ways more or less the same problems. The new fairing hasn’t solved so much the problems, I believe,” he said.

“Here we struggle more than the last five or six tracks, especially in our package. Maybe Dovizioso is feeling good but I couldn’t be much faster today.”


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