Jorge Lorenzo revealed that a faulty electronic sensor in qualifying at Le Mans was to blame for failing to challenge Marc Marquez for pole position.
The Yamaha rider had been among the pacesetters all weekend at the French circuit, dominating Saturday morning’s FP3 session.
But Lorenzo fell six tenths of a second short of the blistering pace shown by Marquez when push came to shove in qualifying, having a big moment at the Esses on the back straight and describing his third place on the grid as the “worst” of his career.
He later revealed during Saturday’s press conference that the reason for the gap was a broken electronic sensor that made his factory M1 feel “strange”.
“It was probably the worst third place of my career in qualifying,” he said, “because I didn’t make a good lap time.
“When I pitted, I realised why the bike was feeling strange – one of the electronic sensors was broken.
“When I exited the pits, I saw [on the electronic display] second gear, sixth gear; the bike was sliding in some corners a lot; and the engine braking wasn’t working very well.
Lorenzo nonetheless added that he was confident of challenging for the win in Sunday’s race, and that his feeling on the bike is as good as ever.
“What’s important is I feel very well on the bike, like the best times,” he explained.
“From Jerez, everything has worked well, except for the sensor today, and I can ride like I want.
“I have a constant pace, so if nothing strange happens tomorrow, I can have a good race.”