Jorge Lorenzo believes he is still some way from finding a wet setting that will allow him to challenge toward the front of Sunday’s MotoGP finale at Valencia, but stated his physical condition was a good deal better than the first day of free practice.

The Majorcan narrowly missed out on a place in Q2 after placing third, just behind eventual pole sitter Maverick Viñales, in Q1, a position which, he felt, did not reflect his potential in the dry.

“Today I feel better, probably because we increased the power of the painkillers this morning,” Lorenzo said. “So this for sure helps a little bit, I didn’t feel that the pushing of yesterday get much worse so that is positive, and honestly I feel very well, very good on the dry conditions.

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“I didn’t expect to be so quick knowing the circumstances, knowing that the track was not completely wet, we didn’t have enough practice, doing a 1m 31.8 is a good lap time and just for half a tenth I couldn’t go directly to Q2 and the one who took me out of Q1 was the one who eventually made the pole position, Maverick.

“That means that probably with 2 more chances and track a little bit more dry I could improve 3 or 5 tenths and fight for first row, second row, because finally the one from the pole went just half second faster than me.

“Anyway, 13th position, tomorrow if it rains the position on the start is not really important. It’s better to start more in front than on the rear but the important thing on the rain is the good feeling.

“For the moment I didn’t have it, let’s see if we can improve something on the bike with better conditions on the day so I can push a little bit more and finish the race as high as possible.”

So what has been missing from Ducati’s wet weather set-up? “Looks like last year’s bike was probably better for the rain a little bit because it has more mechanical traction, less turning on the corners but when it’s raining the most important it’s the traction, if you have traction it’s very easy to make the lap time,” he said.

“So maybe this year’s bike is a little bit worse on the rain. The other manufacturers have improved a little bit so that means that we cannot make the difference that we made last year.

“And also obviously when you are not injured you go into the rain much more careful than on the dry but when you are also injured, you even go a little bit more careful, so that creates the difference. A little bit this corner, the other one, at the end of the lap it’s half a second and its difficult to be as quick as Petrucci and Dovi for example.

“Petrucci has some quite big advantage when it’s heavy rain because he has 20kg more and he can create much more traction. But Dovi is also quick and I am normally one second slower than them so for sure my riding and my determination is not on the top at this moment for these conditions.”

This weekend is Lorenzo’s last with Ducati after two turbulent seasons before a much-hyped move to Honda. Asked how this weekend compares to two years ago, when he won during his farewell weekend with Yamaha, the 31-year old pondered, “It’s always hard to leave your group.

“You have some kind of friendship together, we travelled last winter to the Caribbean and spend one week together and we get very close, it was 2 hard years that can break the relationship but instead in our situation it raised more engagement together.

“They are very nice guys, very nice human beings, as a friend I wish them the best but life goes on and now we have another challenge, another project but for sure one part of me is sad but it’s like that.”

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