Jorge Lorenzo refuses to concede that his deep reserves of self-belief will be broken by his increasingly difficult transition to the Honda RC213V, the most potent weapon in MotoGP. A three-time MotoGP title winner Lorenzo says his champion qualities will see him rise again.
But right now Lorenzo, who turned 32 on the eve of Sunday’s Spanish GP, is racing against time in the shadow of dominant teammate Marc Marquez. Over 25 laps in the Jerez race, Lorenzo finished 12th and 18.4s behind winner Marquez. Alarmingly he was just 1.7s ahead of Pol Espargaro on the notably uncompetitive KTM RC16.
“I think I am a champion and champions keep on fighting until they find a solution and I will find a solution,” said a visibly displeased Lorenzo. “I don’t like to make races like this because I put everything on the track but I couldn’t go faster. I don’t like the position, I don’t like the situation.
“It is a difficult time for me but I must be positive. It is the only mentality I can have.”
Like he did with previous employer Ducati, where he took 18 months to transition to his first race win, Lorenzo insists Honda must play their part. It’s big ask when golden Marquez is winning almost at will on the RC213V with Lorenzo, as he did at Ducati, complaining of a lack of strength to wrestle the Honda under braking.
Honda’s admission they would build a bike to suit Lorenzo is still work in progress.
“I especially have problems in corner entry especially,” Lorenzo said. “The bike is transferring too much weight to the front and it is difficult for me to have a lot energy in my arms, we need to find some solutions. Until we improve this problem I won’t go fast.” By Colin Young