Jorge Lorenzo has revealed the evolution of Ducati’s 2018 aerodynamics package is too problematic to run at present, and is hopeful of another update finding its way into his garage for the third round of the season, after a difficult day in Argentina.

The five-time world champion was unable to navigate a path through the tricky waters of Q1, held in wet but drying conditions, and eventually qualified a lacklustre 14th – behind Karel Abraham – in what has been another frustrating race weekend for the Majorcan.

Speaking after qualifying, Lorenzo said the updated aerodynamics package he tested at the Thai test in February was far from perfect, and when he tried it two weeks later at a test at Losail, he found it was leading the front to close, “especially in fast corners.”

By that time, it was too late to bring an update to the first round, where each factory had the opportunity to homologate one aerodynamic package for the 19-race season. Ducati went ahead and homologated what its riders tested, but can still introduce one further update through the year.

The Bologna factory now appear to be working frantically to prepare a suitable substitute in time for the Grand Prix of the Americas in two weeks time.

“We will try to have something for Austin,” said team manager Davide Tardozzi. “We are not sure, but we will try. We would like to suit the request of the riders, mainly Jorge.

“We are trying to modify something in order to give them the proper feeling, mainly to Jorge, who needs to have a really good feeling on the front of the bike,” said the Italian.

Tensions appeared high in the Ducati mix-zone on Saturday, and Lorenzo could barely conceal his frustration at another day that had gone awry. Here, he pointed to the lack of aerodynamics as key to his recent struggles.

“Well, let's say that we made an evolution from the winglets from last year, and this new evolution, when we tried it in Buriram with the new bike, it didn't work in the corners,” he said. “There were some strange things in the middle of the corner that didn't work. So we discovered that in Qatar, and for the moment, the best mix is without winglets.

“Also for the moment, we could not put it in the rules, for the moment. We hope to make it in Austin, but for the moment, to have just two options for the rules, it's not the best for us. To be able to be free and to try many things, so the best combination has been without winglets. But really, I believe that I really need the winglets with this bike to feel better with the front. Let's hope to have it as soon as possible.”

Asked to expand on the ‘strange’ feeling he had mentioned, Lorenzo continued, “Mainly with the combination of the new fairing with the new bike, it creates some closing, especially in the fast corners which doesn't allow you to carry on good corner speed.

“And the problem has become worse lap by lap. So finally, the best solution in that moment, even if I don't feel really comfortable without the winglets is to ride without the winglets.”

Touching on a disappointing qualifying session, Lorenzo added, “I think it's a combination of many things. I cannot use the winglets, in this track the new bike is suffering a little bit more than the old bike. I cannot ride like in Sepang for the moment, for example.

“Let's hope to have a similar combination as soon as possible, and basically I need more feeling, more stability on the bike, and to have confidence. To open the throttle as soon as possible, to enter the corners with confidence and with downforce. Let's hope to have this possibility for me as soon as possible.

“For the moment, because we cannot change the engine, the chassis is the chassis that we have, we can only improve the electronics, understanding what is the best way for me, that I have some idea about that. And to be able to use the winglets.”


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