Last week Jorge Lorenzo attended a spectacular opening of a Ducati / Scrambler dealership in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The fact that Claudio Domenicali also attended the event gives an idea of the importance of the opening. In fact, the CEO of Ducati Motor Holding announced in his speech that it is one of the top sellers of the brand worldwide.
Lorenzo’s presence was his first public appearance since his unfortunate season start at the Qatar GP. A race that was full of “unusual” incidents, which culminated with the failure of his Desmosedici’s front brake in the middle of the race, forcing him to jump off the bike as it ran uncontrollably into the wall in the runoff.
Obviously the first question when he appeared in front of the press was regarding whether there was news about the cause of the failure. “No, Brembo has not yet offered a specific answer to that problem, let’s wait, we don’t yet know what happened, but what I do know is that I was left without brakes,” Lorenzo commented. “Honestly, I don’t want to position myself much in that topic, better ask the Ducati engineers, who will offer the most specific answer.”
“I appreciate that Gigi came to see me in Qatar after the race. He spent an hour talking with me at a rather low moment.”
Before closing this door we contacted Ducati, where they explained that the technicians at Brembo and Ducati were still analyzing what happened and that once they had a definite result, they would provide an explanation.
Despite this frustration with the first race of the season, Jorge prefers to look at it from the point of view of the glass half full. “It’s not my opinion, it’s a fact, and the numbers are there for anyone who wants to look. The difference in the last laps before I had to throw away the bike had decreased by seven tenths, specifically in the last two laps. It’s a fact, a reality. Another thing is I would have run at the same pace that Marquez and Dovizioso did during the last laps, under 1:55. I still hadn’t done that time, but who knows what would have happened with less fuel in the tank. On the other hand, in the first corner of the first lap I already had brake problems, and logically, that makes you lose something. I don’t know if it was one, two or three tenths, but if you multiply that by 13 laps …
“There is no denying the great work that Ducati has done this winter”
It was an enormous disappointment in Qatar, hence the great importance Jorge gave to Gigi Dall’Igna’s gesture of going to his box instead of joining the celebration that was taking place in Dovi’s box following his spectacular victory. “I appreciate the fact that Gigi came to see me after the race. He spent an hour talking with me at a rather low moment…I appreciate that very much.”
The explanation that Lorenzo gave in Madrid that his long-awaited adaptation to the Desmosedici is not yet over is true. “There is no denying the great work that Ducati has done this winter,” he acknowledged. “Now the bike turns a little bit better in the corners, the power has improved and the bike is faster. But at high speeds the bike is still nervous, that’s a problem that we’re going to have all season because the engine development is frozen, so we can’t waste a minute of energy thinking about that. I’m a very hard-headed person. But I also don’t require a lot of praise to continue working to the fullest.”
“My goal is still the same as when I arrived: try to become the second world champion with Ducati”
But Qatar and what happened there is already over; ahead remain 18 races with the next one in Argentina in two weeks. What can be expected from Lorenzo and Ducati at the second GP of the season? Is the super-fast Termas track a favorite? “When I go to the next circuit I always think that it can be where I can get a win. I see it like that with Argentina. Everything is possible in MotoGP. We are doing a good job in our search for a good setting. The results will come, I am totally convinced, although these days in MotoGP you cannot say anything definitively. Everything is so even and things change so much from one circuit to another that, when it seems like you have found the solution, you get to another circuit and you realize that is not the case. But that’s going to happen to all the riders and all the manufacturers; the important thing is that we continue working as before. And we are working very hard, so the results have to come.”
“I don’t waste a minute thinking about the future. If there are results, my value will be higher and if not, it will take a little more. Luckily my track record is very good and that always helps.”
Pushing forward, working more every day is Jorge Lorenzo’s theory he follows when he finds himself in rough moments. “I’m obsessed with work and improving my physical condition even more, gaining more strength, being a more muscular rider, trying to adapt as best I can to the bike and giving the right information to Ducati to make a bike more in the style of Lorenzo, if you will. My priority is to finish what I started: try to be the second world champion with Ducati, for that to happen, first you have to win a race, and when you do, then the second, the third, the fourth and then, maybe, fight for championship…Hopefully we will get it.”
A final obligatory topic with Lorenzo at hand was this: his future. The answer was direct: “The only thing I worry about is going very fast with this bike and getting my first victory as soon as possible. The rest of the work will be done by Albert Valera (his manager). I don’t waste a minute thinking about it. If there are results, my value will be higher and if not, then it will take a little more. Luckily I have is that my track record is very good and that always helps.”