Coming into Sunday Jorge Lorenzo was sure he possessed the potential to ride to a fourth MotoGP win of 2018, but the Majorcan feels there were two factors that prevented him from successfully challenging team-mate Andrea Dovizioso at Misano.

Lorenzo was under the outright circuit record twice in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, and was comfortably faster than the rest at a test here last month. Yet his race ended unceremoniously in the gravel when he crashed out of second place at Quercia with just two laps to play.

The first reason, he felt, was his inability to make Michelin’s soft compound tyres work this weekend. “With the softer tyres I have something more, like 0.2 or 0.3s” he explained. Using a medium front and rear, he and the Italian were “very equal.”

Secondly, future team-mate Marc Marquez would not accept third place lying down. Lorenzo was convinced the current championship leader knew the limits of his own pace, and instead attempted to pass and repeatedly block the attempts of his Ducati GP18 to get by.

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A succession of overtakes between the 2019 Repsol Honda team-mates for second allowed Dovizioso to extend his advantage to well over two seconds, meaning Lorenzo’s late charge came at a price: he was regularly riding over the limit.

“But anyway, it was my fault, because if I was half a second faster, I didn’t have to fight with Marc, and with Dovi,” he shrugged. “This time we couldn’t. We’ll see if we can do it in the next few races.

“Firstly we have to admit that Dovi rode very consistent today and he rode very well the Ducati,” said Lorenzo. “He has good experience how to ride in the best way in all the conditions to know the tyres. He has more experience than me. I struggle a lot more with medium tyres.

“With softer tyres I have something more, like two or three tenths than him. But with the medium tires we were very equal. Even if I was saving tires for three quarters of the race, and I have something more at the end.

“But as I told you before, this fight with Marc, we lose a lot of time. 2.5 seconds from six laps to the end was too much with this little of difference between both paces.”

On his perception of Marquez’s tactics, he went on: “I knew I had the chance to pass Dovi, because most of my race I wasn’t pushing so much, maybe 90% or 95%.

“I wanted to go faster and faster and try to see if Dovi decreased his pace. I think that he didn't, so I needed to push a little bit more to catch him. But I think honestly that Marc knew that today he couldn’t win, so he concentrated on braking to just save this position. He was braking very hard and stopping the bike on the center. He didn’t have the pace.

“But anyway, it was my fault, because if I was half a second faster, I didn’t have to fight with Marc, and with Dovi. This time we couldn’t. We’ll see if we can do it in the next few races.”

On his crash, he explained, “I don’t think it was the braking, this movement that creates the crash. Was more to have to use the medium/medium that normally I don’t like, especially in front.

“[It] Doesn’t have any grip on the side. I didn’t have good grip on the side. I didn’t have good grip in the center of the tyre in the front or the rear to stop the bike. So this made me to use the front brake all the race to stop the bike and the front was closing and closing.

“So choosing this rock-hard tyre make me a lot of troubles during all the race. Softer tyres, I think I have something more than Dovi and Marc, but with the medium tyres the pace was very similar from the three riders.

“I think especially in the second part of the race we both Ducati riders have more than Marc. But Marc has my wheel to keep there, especially in the last part of the race that I had more confidence and I was pushing and was running 32 high again for the first time. Then I didn’t feel comfortable.

“I was 33.1, 33.0. But these two keys I think the obliged choose the medium/medium maybe going not fast today. Also the fight with Marc, this mistake on braking, he overtook me, and from there, Marc didn’t have the pace to try to catch Dovi. He knew it. So he brake very late to try to conserve the second place, not going for Dovi to take the victory.

“We lose one second and half, or two seconds. So Dovi go away again. 2.5. I recover to 1.3 but still very difficult two laps to recover this distance like this a little bit more, even if I wasn’t feeling great with the front.

“Just one degree more of lean angle, and the front didn’t support my braking. So I think it was this. Impossible to choose the soft front tyre that made me not go fast.”

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