Lorenzo: Misano pace worse than I expected
Honda MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo admits his pace in the San Marino Grand Prix, his second race back from injury, was "worse than I expected".
Lorenzo finished Sunday's Misano race down in 14th, 47 seconds behind race-winning teammate Marc Marquez, as he continues to recover from the back injury he sustained in a practice crash at Assen that forced him on to the sidelines for four races.
Having targeted being between 30 and 40 seconds off the pace over the 27-lap distance, Lorenzo said he struggled with the 26-degree heat and admitted a set-up change he made after qualifying down 18th did not pay dividends either.
"At Silverstone I expected less in the race, we were surprised about going faster than the pace we showed in practice; this time it was the opposite," said Lorenzo. "We expected a bit more, to have a pace closer to the winner. I was worse than I expected.
"Unfortunately with the heat and lack of grip after the Moto2 race I struggled a lot to stop the bike. I don’t know if I made the right choice with the tyres. I had to brake much earlier than in practice, I couldn’t get the pace I wanted.
"I wanted to be in [1m]38s high, but I never reached that. I was getting worse, worse, worse, and the bikes in front of me went away. 47 seconds [to the winner] is more than I expected, but closer than in Silverstone."
Lorenzo admitted he had been hampered by increasing back pain at Silverstone, but this time around the Spaniard reported feeling "much less" discomfort in the race.
He downplayed the prospect of making any major progress in this weekend's Aragon race, however, targeting the Asian flyaway rounds as a more realistic time to push for results.
"After the Silverstone race I was very painful, it was difficult even to walk," said Lorenzo. "Now I feel painful but better than three weeks ago. On the bike I could push more.
"I will not make a huge improvement in one race. It’s gonna be progressive improvements.
"I hope to be stronger in Aragon, especially these gap of [two] weeks to Thailand will give me the opportunity to recover, so train more in the gym, lift more weights, get more power in the muscles.
"Hopefully in Aragon we can be close to 30 seconds [behind the winner], which is my goal, before pushing more my physical condition."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
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