Jorge Lorenzo picked up where he left off as he topped the times on the factory Ducati at Catalunya on Friday.

Lorenzo sealed a breakthrough win on the Desmosedici at Mugello in Italy in the previous round and the Spaniard, who announced a shock move to join Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda team from 2019, continued in the same vein as he led free practice by 0.107s from Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone.

The three-time premier class champion says the key difference to his performance is down to an improvement in braking with the Italian machine, following recent chassis and fuel tank changes.

"The bike has the same ergonomics as Mugello. I'm keeping it as I feel I probably get 1% more speed, but especially I can save much more energy under braking and this is the biggest difference in my performance," said Lorenzo, who was the only rider to break into the 1m 38 bracket, setting his best time in 1m 38.930s.

“I am treating this improvement as a new start and especially I can save much more energy on braking and the beginning of the corner and this is the real difference in my performance."

Lorenzo is also continuing to refine his style for the Desmosedici.

“I am learning every time more and more the little secrets that the Ducati has. And at Mugello I had to change a little bit my riding style in some corners to save the tyres, both the front and the rear, and it worked. sometimes you try to change and it doesn't affect the life of the tyre so much, but this time it was a very good strategy.

"I feel strong, let's see how it goes tomorrow.

“On a track where the tarmac is new, you need to be careful. The concentration is very important. If I could make a good start and put my own pace it would be fantastic. Let’s see how we go tomorrow.”

Lorenzo says confirmation of his deal to join the Repsol Honda team has not made a big difference to how is approaching the race this weekend in Spain.

“You are more calm and you spend your time not thinking about the future, but I am a rider that when I put the helmet on I don’t think about anything. I try to ride at the maximum and I have always had good concentration.

"So this was not the problem [for my results]. The problem was that, if I had the bike I have now one year ago, I would already have some more victories in my pocket.”

The Spaniard also commented on how he was able to keep the Honda move secret for so long:

"If you don't tell anybody. If not even your father or mother know about it, it's possible!"