Lorenzo and Spies Struggle at Brno MotoGP

August 15, 2011
Scott Mathews
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There are few people worthy of getting an audience with Mathews but he makes himself available on occasion to the racers of the Grand Prix paddock. If they’re lucky, he might even mention their name. He’s Scott Mathews, and he’s bringing you the inside scoop on MotoGP.

Jorge Lorenzo: There are still a lot of points to be played for so we must focus on winning the most races we can. Now we must forget this race which is probably one of the worst this season and possibly in my MotoGP career.
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo chose to run with a soft compound front tire at Brno. Unfortunately, the decision left him with little grip to compete against the frontrunners.

Jorge Lorenzo is hoping a new YZR-M1 800cc motor he will test in Brno’s Monday test will help lift his spirits after his bid to successfully defend the MotoGP world crown suffered a major blow in the Czech Republic. A wrong tire choice left Lorenzo down in fourth position and Casey Stoner’s dominant victory leaves the Spaniard 32-points adrift in the title hunt with only seven races remaining. Lorenzo selected Bridgestone’s soft compound front tire but it was clearly the wrong choice for the hot conditions as he dropped quickly out of the lead and off the podium with grip issues.

Lorenzo is now hoping Monday’s test session will give him confidence that he can still fight Stoner for the 2011 title. He’s requested a major horsepower upgrade from Yamaha engineers throughout the season and whether the Japanese factory has met his demands will become clearer.

Asked if it was critical that the new engine was a significant performance step to aid his bid to push Stoner in the title hunt, he said: “This is what I hope. I guess it is not so easy to improve the 800 in the last months of this category but Yamaha is working so hard and they don’t want to give up.”

Yamahas Jorge Lorenzo snagged the fourth-fastest time in Fridays practice at Brno behind Marco Simoncelli.
Jorge Lorenzo: “It is so difficult to find better things when the evolution of the bike and the performance of the bike is so high.”

Lorenzo said it made no sense to be too critical of Yamaha when asked if he was disappointed that the YZR-M1 had not improved more compared to 2010.

“If I get more angry I will not gain anything. I am not an engineer so I can’t do anything more to improve the bike. They are working but if you work it doesn’t mean that you must have better things. It is so difficult to find better things when the evolution of the bikes and the performance of the bikes is so high. So it is not so easy. You can see on the Ducati that they change the bike completely but they haven’t found much better results. Honda was working for so many years when they weren’t winning and finally they found something really good.”

Lorenzo will also debut Yamaha’s new 1000cc MotoGP contender for 2012 at the Brno test. 

Ben Spies came out in sympathy for factory Yamaha teammate Lorenzo after the Spaniard’s bungled tire choice. Only Lorenzo and Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista chose to run the softer option and the reigning world champion could only finish fourth after leading for the opening two laps.

Spies, who finished in a brave fifth, said he had not even considered using the softer front because of his riding style and he said: “It was just a bad mistake and he has a different riding style which can suit the softer tire. So he was in limbo of which was better or worse. For me the harder

Ben Spies: The bike is definitely going to be better over race distance than it is over one lap but we have to improve that one lap speed. We found something right at the end of the session but we just werent able to try it. - Brno practice 2011
Ben Spies: “That was the hardest physical race I’ve ever done.”

option is always better because of the way I brake and ride. He was in a predicament, which happened to me at Laguna with the rear tire. For me there was no option but the hard but I feel for Jorge because he just went the wrong way.”

Lorenzo’s bad tire decision and Casey Stoner’s romp to a sixth win of the season moved the Australian into a commanding 32-point lead in the championship. Spies salvaged a brilliant fifth from a difficult weekend after he was plagued by a trapped nerve in his neck, which caused severe pain and numbness in his left arm.

The 2009 World Superbike champion said: “That was a hard race. I wanted to quit every lap past the ninth. I tried as hard as I could and didn’t make too many mistakes. I didn’t fall off and I finished so it was a good result. That was the hardest physical race I’ve ever done. We got it finished, put it behind us and we scored some points.”