Jorge Lorenzo has said he always knew “good moments would arrive” during the dark days at the beginning of the 2018 season, but admitted it was “difficult … difficult” to accept the situation after a listless MotoGP showing in Austin.

Since then, the Majorcan has remarkably reversed his fortunes with Ducati, and enters the 14th round of the year at Aragon as one of the pre-race favourites after a string of impressive showings.

However the first three rounds were far from ideal, and on Thursday, Lorenzo spoke of the difficulties he encountered while trying to maintain a positive outlook on the season ahead.

“I was doing whatever it takes to come back to the top but any effort I did – because I was working more than ever – was compensated by the reality,” he said of the early months of this year. “And also earlier in the year I made the track record at Sepang [at the test] and everything changed in Thailand. From there everything was bad.

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“It [Austin] was difficult, difficult. I was beaten by [Tito] Rabat and [Jack] Miller, mainly because I felt something on the bike that knew was wrong. But we needed to change something because I was completely destroyed after the race physically in my arms.

“But as I always said when someone asked me about the pressure, I think in my career I achieved much more than I expected when I was a kid. So everything that comes in the future is like a present for me, it’s like an extra.

“I don’t have any kind of pressure... So I keep working. I keep fighting. I knew sooner or later some good moments would arrive. Sure, we needed to change something and luckily we did.”

It was put to the five-time world champion – three times a race winner this year – another rider had opined the #99 Ducati would be “untouchable” this weekend.

Lorenzo responded with enthusiasm. “Hopefully,” he smiled. “It’s going to be difficult because at this track Marc is very strong. Honda improved their engine this year. But also it’s true that I know more the bike than last year. The bike is more complete. It turns a little bit better.

“On some sides you lose, on some you gain. The weather looks good, and this is a good sign. Let’s see. Everything is possible. To say that I will be untouchable before the start of the weekend is maybe too much.

”[In 2017] Especially compared to the Hondas we lose in two or three turns; mainly in the last corner – it looks like in a long corner that comes back the Honda turns a little bit better. So we hope that half of the problem, maybe not all of the problem, as I said in Sachsenring, we could fix this time.

“And the other part was the two chicanes – the change of direction – we lose half a tenth because the Honda looks like it has more agility and we lose a little bit more. So these three ones are where we lose the most.

“For the opposite we gain a little bit on the straight and the acceleration. Let’s see this year, because the Honda engine is a bit more powerful.”

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