Lorenzo: Motegi FP2 "best session" since Assen injury
Jorge Lorenzo said that FP2 for MotoGP's Japanese Grand Prix has been his best session since he got injured at Assen, as he reverted to a chassis he used back in May.
Lorenzo's already difficult debut season with Honda took a turn for the worse when he injured himself in a crash during practice for the Dutch TT and was subsequently forced to spend four races on the sidelines.
He hasn't finished higher than 14th since his return, and has been regularly towards the back of the field in most sessions.
At Motegi, Lorenzo made small progress by ending Friday 17th, finishing ahead of six riders, although still nearly two seconds off the benchmark.
Lorenzo attributed that progress to a decision to revert to a chassis he last used at Le Mans.
"After Thailand I opted to return to the previous chassis, which I took to Le Mans. I would say it was the best session since I was injured at Assen," Lorenzo said.
"The problem was not being able to improve on the soft tyre, I only cut four tenths of a second.
"I'm a little closer and when the fastest ones pass me I can keep their wheel a little more. The main thing now is to improve the vibrations in the front."
Lorenzo added, however, that it would take a "miracle" to find a real breakthrough in 2019 as there are no new things that he can try this year.
"The reality is that there is nothing new, so we have to deal with the old. The only thing we can do is try things we've tried before, there's nothing new.
"To find the key would be a miracle, it's about small things."
His teammate Marc Marquez, who sealed the 2019 title in Thailand, was third on Friday, which he said was more difficult than usual as he suggested Yamaha riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales had an edge.
"On the first lap I already had a scare, so we came back to reality soon. It wasn't the best day, especially the second practice, but at least we're there," explained the Honda rider.
"In the second practice we got a bit caught up with the things we tried, but we have to keep working to be with the Yamaha.
"The two fastest here are Yamaha. The level is being set by Fabio and Maverick, and when there are two who are going fast you try hard to be with them.
"With new tyres Yamaha goes very fast. Valentino [Rossi] and [Franco] Morbidelli also show a lot of capacity for improvement when they fit new tyres."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
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