Jorge Lorenzo says his focus during this weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix will be on beating Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who the Spaniard has labelled the “favourite”.
Rossi goes into the second half of the season with a 13-point cushion over Lorenzo with nine races to go, following two rounds at Assen and the Sachsenring where he struggled in relation to the Italian.
But returning to a track where has historically performed better, Lorenzo has his eyes firmly on the man on the other side of the factory Yamaha garage as he seeks to recapture the form that carried him to four successive victories earlier in the season.
The 28-year-old also believes that last year’s resurfacing should help to mitigate the effects of the asymmetric rear tyre that he struggled with in particular last time out at the Sachsenring.
“Obviously Valentino is ahead in the championship, we are 13 points behind, so he is the favourite and the one who we most focus on beating,” said Lorenzo.
“At Assen, from the beginning, I didn’t feel the same way as the previous four races. The last four races the tyres were a little bit different – this one also, but with different asphalt maybe it will be grippier so there will be less problems.
“It should be the last race with these [asymmetric] tyres and I want to have a good result like last year.”
Track modifications favour Yamaha
Lorenzo added that changes made to the circuit last year helped bring Yamaha closer to the pace at a traditionally Honda-friendly track – which, combined with an improved M1 machine, should allow he and Rossi to threaten to end Marc Marquez’s domination at the American venue this year.
“Marc is coming strong again, he won the [previous] race, and Honda looked like they’ve solved their problems, so for sure they will be competitive like last year,” said Lorenzo.
“But the modifications made life easier for the Yamaha riders. They changed the chicane and it’s better for us now it’s more flowing, and the track is better for us in general.
“We have a good bike this year and we have to take profit of it. Now the track is more flowing, we have a great opportunity.”