Unlikely first Ducati podium "like a victory" for Lorenzo

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Unlikely first Ducati podium
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
May 7, 2017, 1:32 PM

Jorge Lorenzo says scoring his first podium for Ducati at Jerez felt "like a victory", admitting that he didn't expect to be fighting for a top-three spot.

Lorenzo had endured a difficult start to life at Ducati, scoring just 12 points in his first three races with the manufacturer - but he went into the Jerez race optimistic after promising long-run showings on Saturday.

Starting from eighth, Lorenzo eventually fought through to a third-place finish in the 27-lap race, prevailing in a scintillating scrap with Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Johann Zarco.

"It's like a victory, you know," Lorenzo said after the race. "Having a podium with a Ducati, such a special bike, such a difficult bike, makes me very very proud, very very happy.

"I didn't expect this position, I expected to fight for fifth, sixth position."

Ducati had not previously scored a MotoGP podium at Jerez since 2011 with Nicky Hayden, the Spanish venue recognised as a bogey track for the Borgo Panigale marque.

But while no Ducati qualified higher than Lorenzo in eighth this time around, the Spaniard swept past the likes of Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone to put himself into podium contention - while works teammate Andrea Dovizioso also produced a spirited charge from 14th on the grid to fifth.

Lorenzo continued: "Anyway, the race pace was very slow and I could little by little catch up and overtake some riders. So finally I struggled so much to open this little gap from Zarco. But finally I never gave up.

"I was very tired at the end of the race because this bike is a little bit nervous, so I push, I push, and I stay on the bike, and we can enjoy this result."

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