Jorge Lorenzo says it’s unlikely he’ll switch back to Ducati’s 2017-spec MotoGP bike in Qatar even though he used it on the final day of testing in Thailand.
After only managing to finish the first two days of running at Buriram 10th-fastest, Lorenzo endured an even tougher time on Sunday, slumping to 22nd place and 1.846s off the pace set by Dani Pedrosa.
The Spaniard opted to spend the final few hours of the test on the GP17, but said afterwards that he believes the new bike – which he didn’t feel “comfortable” using on Saturday – remains the better bet.
“Today has been difficult, not so much confidence, very far from the first riders,” said Lorenzo. “That’s why we decided to try again the old bike.
“It was important to try again the old bike, still it has some points that are better than the new one, also some points that are worse.
“If I had to choose at this moment and make a conclusion, we choose the new bike. We have a bigger potential [with it].”
He added that “the new [‘18] chassis still has negative points that I don’t like so much” when asked to specify what it was about the new machine he was struggling with.
Lorenzo was adamant that his lowly position in the timesheets can’t be considered representative of his place in the competitive pecking order as most other riders set their best times on new tyres.
“We cannot take conclusions this day because all the riders try to make the laptime in the morning and I was going with old tyres,” he explained.
“And when I put new tyres I was doing a race simulation, I was in race mode, you don’t ride as aggressive as when you are doing one lap.
“We are much better than this 22nd position. We are not in the top three, but we are not in the last three.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont