Jorge Lorenzo says a fuel tank redesign along with previous modifications gave him the confident feeling to fight at the front over a full race distance for Ducati as he secured his maiden victory with the Italian manufacturer at Mugello.

The three-time MotoGP world champion charged to a long-awaited first win for Ducati in Italy after bolting to the front into the first corner, in a similar style to his charges at Jerez and Le Mans, before gradually building a lead over teammate Andrea Dovizioso for a victory which echoed his dominant displays during his Yamaha days.

Lorenzo says Ducati’s new fuel tank shape, which he debuted at Mugello, was vital to allow him greater control of his GP18 without tiring during the race while also making “the biggest change of my riding style from practice to the race”.

“I feel better than ever with this bike as physically I have more energy to keep a more constant pace for more laps with the modification of the fuel tank,” Lorenzo said. “I was very worried about the front tyre because maybe some bikes would destroy the front tyre less.

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“This would be an advantage for them so I just changed my riding style completely to save this front tyre and I probably did the biggest change of my riding style from practice to the race of all my life. It worked a lot because after the race I looked at the front tyre and it was a lot better than I expected.

“Here we had problems with graining but I think everybody had it with the characteristics of the asphalt of the track. At the Montmelo test we didn’t have it so this gave us the possibility to push more of the race without having to save corner speed in this track.

“Finally I used the mind and was really focus, no mistakes, and I have enough energy to keep pushing until the last lap.”

Lorenzo made his frustrations at Ducati clear having asked for a revised fuel tank since pre-season testing in Thailand, with the Buriram circuit hosting several heavy straightline braking zones, and felt instant race distance gains due to the new part along with frame modificaitons which were first rolled out in Jerez.

“The ergonomics of last year’s bike was different and the fuel tank was slightly higher and had a different shape,” he said. “With the new chassis they had to reshape the ergonomics and the fuel tank.

“The other riders didn’t feel a different but as I said from the beginning I have less support and I would get more tired under braking which I said from the Buriram test. They believed that we couldn’t use a different one.

“Finally here we arrived with something big and I could feel something much more different. As I said from Friday it was something different and this gave me the opportunity to relax the arms and save more energy, especially in straight braking.”

Despite Lorenzo’s breakthrough win at Mugello he admitted his future with Ducati could be over after revealing he will be riding “a different bike” from next year. The Spaniard has been strongly linked with a move back to Yamaha with an independent team on a potential two-year deal.

Either Danilo Petrucci or Jack Miller from Pramac Ducati are expected to step up to the factory squad in 2019.

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