Jorge Lorenzo worry speed decreases in wet weather
Three-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo concedes that his form in wet conditions like those experienced during the Dutch TT at Assen is a worry.
When rain started on Saturday, Lorenzo was eighth in the fourth practice session, then 11th of the 12 riders to set a time in the main phase of qualifying, 2.651 seconds off the pace.
Other than at Assen in 2013 where he rode badly injured after a practice crash, it represented his worst qualifying result since the Spaniard’s rookie season in ’08, and he admitted he felt “very far from the top guys”.
One day later, he lost nearly one minute over the 14 laps before the red flag stoppage, saying he was “slower than ever” and had contemplated retiring, eventually claiming 10th in the race as a result of crashes ahead of him.
It was the second Assen race in three years in which Lorenzo has struggled in mixed conditions, having admitted he was “scared” in 2014 when he stayed on wet tyres too long.
Asked about his demons with Assen since his accident, Lorenzo said: “It worries me a little bit more not to be competitive in the rain.
The cause is not competitive when it rains
“When there is no grip in the rain, or too much rain, or the track is too slippery, or because the tyres are too hard for the track grip and I don’t trust the tyres, it’s difficult for me to be competitive.
“One of the problems is the Yamaha in these conditions, with not so much grip in the rain it is not easy bike in these particular conditions and the other problem can be myself.
“I need to feel safe and to have grip in all areas to be faster.”
Lorenzo pointed out that there have been instances of him setting the pace in the rain, when it still provides grip namely at Sepang in 2012 and Motegi last year, but he acknowledges there is no easy answer to his problems.
“[I have to] just understand how to go faster in these conditions,” he said.
“With the Yamaha it’s very difficult, in all the years with lack of grip in the rain or a lot rain, I’ve never been one of the fastest riders.
“When it’s raining and it’s grippy like in Malaysia, I can be one second or one-and-a-half faster than everyone but when there’s a lot of rain or I don’t trust the tyres, it’s not the ideal situation for me.
“But it’s important to be competitive in all of these situations and I need to at least try to do something.”