Rossi backs Lorenzo to rebound in Jerez

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Rossi backs Lorenzo to rebound in Jerez
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
May 3, 2018, 7:34 AM

Valentino Rossi has backed former MotoGP teammate Jorge Lorenzo to recover from a poor start to his second season at Ducati in the next race at Jerez.

Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team, Jack Miller, Pramac Racing, Tito Rabat, Avintia Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team

Lorenzo lies a lowly 16th in the standings after the first three rounds of the 2018 campaign, having retired from the opener in Qatar before finishing 15th in Argentina and then 11th last time out in Austin.

The Spaniard said in particular his lacklustre showing at the Circuit of the Americas was "difficult to accept", and left him feeling "very sad", and his woes are compounded by teammate Andrea Dovizioso leading the championship by a single point from Honda's Marc Marquez.

Rossi partnered Lorenzo at Yamaha either side of a Ducati stint of his own in 2011-12, one that yielded no race wins and only three podium finishes, albeit at a time the Italian marque was much less competitive than it is today.

"It's a difficult situation and very frustrating," said Rossi of Lorenzo's plight. "For my part, it wasn't easy to keep believing myself and finding motivation [when I was at Ducati].

"But Lorenzo is a very strong rider and in my opinion he will already be strong at Jerez. I don't know what I would advise him to do, it's something he has to feel for himself."

Lorenzo himself highlighted Jerez, where he is a three-time MotoGP winner, as the start of a run of circuits that should be more suited to him.

The three-time premier class champion scored his first podium at the Spanish venue in Ducati colours last year after a similarly rough opening three rounds aboard the Desmosedici.

"Last year, without the new aero [fairing], I finished third [at Jerez]," Lorenzo said. "It’s a track I like, the tarmac is quite grippy, not so many bumps. Theoretically I would be fast there.

"The next tracks will be better for us, Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello for sure, Montmelo [Barcelona]. Probably we will have more fun."

Lorenzo also claimed the 2018-spec Ducati bike is "more physical", which compromises his race pace.

When asked if it is harder for him to ride with this year's bike, he said: "I think so. The new Ducati has positive and negative points.

"Maybe for two laps with the electronics you can go faster, but for race pace it is a more physical bike. All of this came together this weekend to make such a bad result."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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