Jorge Lorenzo revealed he also had a scare on entry to Turn 7 during Friday's MotoGP practice at Buriram in Thailand, the place where team-mate Marc Marquez suffered his big accident.

While Lorenzo got away with his smaller warning, Marquez - poised to clinch an eighth world championship - was thrown into a huge highside after losing the rear on an out-lap, requiring checks in hospital.

Marquez later said that completely shutting the throttle into the corner, due to being on a slow lap, had probably caused the rear tyre to slide as the engine-braking kicked in. But Lorenzo - like Pol Espargaro, who was just behind Marquez when he fell - believes tyre temperature was the main factor.

While a 'cold' tyre is impossible in the scorching Thailand heat, dropping a few degrees below the tyre's designed operating window is easily done on a slow lap. And according to Lorenzo, it can make a huge difference to the grip.

"Yeah. On one of the laps at that same corner," Lorenzo replied, when asked if also had any moments with the rear tyre, given what happened to Marquez. "If you just slow down 1-2 seconds in that sector or the previous sector, then the temperature on the right side of the tyre gets a little bit colder.

"Just this small [temperature change] makes a huge difference in grip when you enter the corner and if you forget that the tyre has dropped in temperature you can crash very easily. From the front or from the rear.

"So we saw some crashes here today - I and some other riders also had some [moments] - but Marc had the biggest crash. Luckily for him and the team there were not any big consequences, so it looks like he will be competitive for Sunday's race."

While Marquez returned to lead for large parts of the afternoon session, Lorenzo was left in 20th place as he tried a revised set-up.

"We started this weekend with the ideas we had after the Aragon race, to give me more grip on the rear, more traction, while compromising a little bit the front stability," Lorenzo said.

"Honestly in the morning I felt better than at the last races and I was quite satisfied. But I expected a little bit more from the afternoon. The changes that we made to both bikes to improve a little more in the afternoon didn’t work and I wasn't really quick in pace or over one lap.

"The only positive thing is that the difference with the fastest is 1.5s, that is not fantastic but probably a little bit closer than the last races. Hopefully tomorrow we can decrease this difference to close to one-second and be more competitive."

Finally, Lorenzo was also asked about his memories of working with David Munoz, who will be Valentino Rossi's Yamaha crew chief next season.

"Actually he was my first crew chief in the world championship in 2002 when I was 15 years old," Lorenzo said. "I only had two mechanics and he was the chief mechanic!

"He's a nice guy, quiet and professional. I only worked with him that year but he's a good guy."

 

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