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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lorenzo: I want to beat Vale on equal terms

Repeating a world championship is often harder than winning one in the first place, and this is something Jorge Lorenzo is learning the hard way this season.  The number 1 plate can weigh heavily on the front of a bike, and a certain Valentino Rossi is the only rider to have successfully defended his premier class title in the last ten years.  That said, Lorenzo is currently 44 points behind Stoner, which isn't an insurmountable gap.

"I imagined the season would go like this – Jorge revealed - during winter testing we were struggling to go as fast as Stoner and Pedrosa, and the season has more or less been an extension of the preseason performance levels.  We are missing something; a half second at some tracks, two tenths at another, but in some places it's nothing and I was able to win.  For sure the bike hasn't been competitive enough at 80% of the races.  And I don't want to imply that all the fault lies with Yamaha.  The results are obtained by the rider and bike together, and I made some mistakes in races I could have won, like Silverstone where I crashed.  In general, though, the truth is that Honda has improved their bike a lot in the last two years."

Something that could change with the arrival of the 1000cc machines: "The differences in power should be reduced - Lorenzo added - and they shouldn't matter as much as they do with the 800's."

The situation inside the Yamaha garage has also changed since 2010, when Jorge found himself competing hard with Rossi:  "I get along well with Spies, and when one of us has a problem, we can look at the telemetry of the other.  But the wall is still up in the garage, although now it's more like 80% compared to last year's 100%."

But strangely enough, the Spaniard actually misses the Italian in some ways:  "The races against Valentino, battling for the win on the same bike, were all great; even if I never won any of them.  He is super strong on the brakes, and I'd like it if, sometime in the future, we had the chance to race again with equal machinery. Those races were certainly more fun to watch than the ones from this season, where one rider always seems to break away.  My fondest memory is of Barcelona 2009."

Now the GP circus move on to Motegi, and a race that has some importance beyond the usual sporting aspects.  "I think that any of the riders could have refused to go.  Some would have risked more than others in terms of their careers, but everyone had the power to say no. I think the information we received is sufficient to make a decision.  I changed my opinion and now I believe the area is secure, so long as there isn't another earthquake."

source: GP One

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