While feeling there is some room for improvement, Jorge Lorenzo believes he is “one of the top three guys” when it comes to “speed and pace,” after the first day of MotoGP free practice at the Red Bull Ring.

The two-time race winner with Ducati posted the second fastest time in FP1, the only dry premier class session of the day. As witnessed five days ago at Brno, only team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was quicker.

“Yeah, we are happy,” said the Majorcan. “We are one of the top three guys in terms of speed and pace. But I believe we have some margin of improvement on the bike for tomorrow.

“We decided to put a new tyre at the end [of FP1] in case tomorrow morning there are wet patches or even rain. It was important that we go directly to the Q1 because if you don’t put a new tyre you can be eight tenths slower.

“If the rest put a new tyre you can be twelfth. It was more a safety reason than to demonstrate that we are fast. Just for the rain. If there was not a forecast of rain we would probably have kept the same tyre until the end.”

In FP1 Lorenzo repeatedly lost ground in turns six and seven, and he would go on to admit he was lacking a “little bit” of confidence at the former, which is the first left turn on the track’s layout.

“Yeah, I was missing a little bit of confidence in these two corners [turns six and seven], especially the first one,” he said. “So let’s try to improve tomorrow. I think I know more or less what I was missing so let’s see tomorrow.”

On Ducati’s new aerodynamic fairing he first tried on Saturday at Brno, which he continued with here, he said, “Well we used the same fairing as Brno. It was new in Brno and we tried it. It has a similar feeling than the previous one. Probably in the middle of the corner the bike is a little bit more free but it’s a very small difference. It’s similar.”

And what of the safety of the track in the wet afternoon session? “It was good. But we went to the track when there was not so much water. I saw Rins and Zarco at the beginning with so much water having a lot of trouble to get grip even on the straight.

“It looked like the quantity of water affected too much the grip. But with not so much water the grip was OK and I didn’t I feel the rubber of Formula1 of the front locking. It was OK. Let’s see the track with a lot of water. It worries me a little bit, yeah.”

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