Jorge Lorenzo feels the Japanese MotoGP acts as definite progress to his recent Repsol Honda struggles after his mid-season injury despite still failing to finish inside the points positions.

The five-time world champion crossed the finish line in Motegi in 17th place and 40 seconds behind team-mate and race-winner Marc Marquez to show limited progress from the outside.

But having been buoyed by his Friday practice pace after re-testing an older chassis and parts with his RC213V, before fading in the wet and mixed conditions on Saturday, Lorenzo says his better feeling returned in the dry and warmer conditions on race day when he made his 200th premier class start.

Lorenzo pointed to his poor performance over the opening half of the Japanese GP, lapping around the high 1m 47s to low 1m 48s while the front-runners were all in the 1m 46s mark, but with his pace improving in the second half of the race to mid 1m 47s he’s confident progress has made found.

“We made an improvement on the bike this weekend and my feeling was better,” Lorenzo said. “In the second part of the race I was able to enjoy riding the bike again and go much faster than at the start of the race.

“At the end we were closer to the front than any of the other races since my injury, a second from the fastest in the last laps.

“The problem was at the beginning, I couldn’t play with the bike as much as at the end and this is where we lost all our time. But towards the end I was able to little by little, brake later and go faster. With the pace at the end I could have been closer to the leader.

“Now we try to keep the momentum for Phillip Island.”

Lorenzo has now gone three consecutive races without scoring a point for the factory Honda squad, with 14th place at Misano his last points-scoring result. The Spaniard’s best finish of the season remains 11th place at Le Mans where he finished 15 seconds behind race-winner Marquez.

 

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