Jorge Lorenzo is hoping that next year's Honda can revive some of the front-end confidence he had felt during his outings on the 2018 machine.

Although injured during the final stages of his Ducati career, a sore Lorenzo made his Honda debut during last November's Valencia and Jerez tests, signing-off 2018 a competitive fourth-fastest and 0.160s from the top.

That far exceeds his best qualifying position of eighth during an injury-interrupted 2019 season.

"The first time I tried the bike, at the Valencia test and also at Jerez - with last year's bike I was quite quick and my confidence was okay," Lorenzo said at the EICMA show.

"But with the 2019 bike - even if for Marc it was a very nice year, because he made the record number of points and rode unbelievably, the rest of the Honda riders have struggled a little bit with a lack of confidence in the front."

Despite recovering from shoulder surgery during pre-season testing, Marquez was soon able to manage the revised cornering character - albeit with some record lean angles - and then unleash the extra horsepower to claim eleven victories and 17 podiums.

However, Marquez is the lone Honda rider in the world championship top eight, with LCR's Cal Crutchlow the only other RCV rider to have stood on the podium this season.

"On the straight, it's very good to have [the extra horsepower]. But in the corners, we've faced some little problems that we are trying to solve for next year and let's see at the Valencia test," Lorenzo added.

Lorenzo has taken a best race finish of eleventh so far this year, but hasn't qualified or finished higher than 14th since back injuries at Assen in June, prompting continued rumours about his Honda future.

The engine-freeze rules mean it would not have been possible for Lorenzo or Crutchlow to switch back to the 2018 machine during this season.

Crutchlow's team-mate Takaaki Nakagami, who races last year's bike, took a best finish of fifth place before heading for shoulder surgery.

Johann Zarco will make his final race appearance in place of Nakagami at this weekend's Valencia finale. Development of the 2020 prototypes will then continue during the post-race test on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

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