Lorenzo: Mugello lead cameo down to bravery, not speed
Jorge Lorenzo says he was more brave than fast during the early stages of the Italian Grand Prix, as he led a MotoGP race for the first time with Ducati.
Lorenzo lined up seventh for the Mugello race but jumped up to third before passing Yamaha pair Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi down the front straight to start lap two.
He overshot San Donato, letting Rossi back past, then pounced several corners later to take the lead until his former teammate reclaimed the top spot at Scarperia.
Starting lap three, Lorenzo flew past Rossi again down the front straight and made his move stick at San Donato, again until Scarperia nine corners later.
The three-time champion faded thereafter to finish eighth, as teammate Andrea Dovizioso won, and felt his early charge was more about bravery than pace.
“I wasn't faster than them,” he said of the Yamahas. “I had a lot of [top] speed and I was very brave, but I wasn't faster.
“First lap I was 1m48.8s, quite slow, a 1m48.7s second lap, so it wasn't a high pace. But, obviously, I made a good start and I was third in the first corner.
“And the top speed in the sixth gear, especially, was much faster than the other bikes, so I could arrive into Turn 1 in first position.
“In free practice four yesterday, I was one of the guys with better pace, so I tried to do the same but Rossi didn't allow me, he overtook me in the middle of the corner.”
Middle of corner "clearly my weak point"
Lorenzo ultimately finished 14.393 seconds behind Dovizioso, while Pramac satellite rider Danilo Petrucci also finished on the podium with third place.
The Spaniard said being on the receiving end of moves like Rossi’s was “not usual for me”, with mid-corner and braking the areas he’s still chasing time, even though a recent test at Barcelona leaves him encouraged about next weekend’s race.
“I’ve been overtaken in the middle of the corner five or six times,” he said. “It's clearly my weak point now, this middle part of the corner that I'm very slow and too open.
“The second problem is that - even if I try everything, a lot of settings, a lot ways of riding - I still don't take profit of the strong points of the bike.
“Most of the corners I’m still trying too much to prepare for the exit, but that doesn't compensate for what I lose entering the corner. So riders like Dovi and Petrucci, who are hard brakers, the bike works much better for them.
“But, you know, it depends a lot in the tracks. Jerez I was more competitive, at Barcelona in the test I was much more competitive. So at Barcelona, at the moment, I am the one who is more comfortable with the bike.”
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