Lorenzo Wins, Spies Mystified at Silverstone

June 19, 2012
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 celebrating his fourth victory of the season.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrating his fourth victory of the season.

Jorge Lorenzo says he won’t take anything for granted after his domination of the 2012 MotGP world championship continued at Silverstone. The Spaniard clinched a third consecutive victory and fourth in the opening six races to open up a commanding 25-point lead over closest rival Casey Stoner. The 2010 world champion has only dropped 10-points all season and despite his big lead over Repsol Honda rider Stoner, he said he can’t afford to relax with a vital period of the title hunt coming up with three races in quick succession at Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello.

Lorenzo, who signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha prior to the Silverstone clash, said: “It is better to have the points lead than not. But it’s not definitive. There have only been six races and there is a lot more to be done. When you are fighting and trying to win in the world championship you don’t enjoy like you are on the freeway and very calm with your bike on the street. It’s not like this. One part of you is enjoying it but another part of you is very tense and really nervous.”

Lorenzo was made to work hard for his 21st MotoGP victory yesterday having sat in fifth place for the opening five laps. His attack started a lap later when he moved by Nicky Hayden’s fading Ducati GP12 and on Lap 7 he was already into second having taken factory Yamaha teammate Ben Spies and compatriot Alvaro Bautista in quick succession. He then stalked Stoner’s RC213V machine for four laps before hitting the front after a series of brilliant overtakes with the Aussie on Lap 11.

Lorenzo out front of a hungry pack  the Spaniard would go on to win the GP at Silverstone.
Lorenzo was patient making his way to the front of the pack, finally making his pass for the lead on Lap 11.

He held on for victory despite almost crashing late on at the Stowe Corner and after winning in Le Mans and Catalunya, he said: “Looking at the classification of the last three races it may seem a little bit easy, but for me it wasn’t. At the beginning of the race I struggled a lot to keep the pace of the first group and I was a little behind them. I needed to keep the concentration for a lot of laps and not make mistakes when I was behind the group. Alvaro was braking really deep and also Ben. I didn’t want to make any mistakes so I wait for the race to go on to see the pace of all the riders and I realize that I have a little more. When the tires drop a little bit they were slowing down quite a bit and my pace was slower in the beginning, but not so much. I got the second position and Casey was trying not to let me pass for some laps. But finally I could pass him in the last corner, but he didn’t want to let me pass, so I think we made a good show for the spectators. Lucky for us I have something more in this race and I tried to push 100% to open a gap. I was pushing so much that four laps to the end I made a big mistake in the corner before the chicane that I almost crashed and I almost get zero points. And that’s why I say it’s really difficult. It’s not easy in any race this year.”

Jorge Lorenzo Admits Rejecting Honda Offer

Lorenzo rejected a multi-million pound offer to join Honda as Casey Stoner’s replacement before opting to sign his two-year deal with Yamaha. The Spaniard will remain onboard a factory YZR-M1 for 2013 and ’14 in a deal confirmed by Yamaha prior to the Silverstone GP. But Lorenzo confirmed the decision to knock back Honda’s proposal had been very tough and only reached as Yamaha improved its offer.

The former 250GP world champion said: “I am happy with Yamaha and I kept thinking I would like to continue here. But it was very hard to take the final decision. It was very difficult to take a decision because I had on offer from Honda and to make the decision was very tough. But finally my heart said Yamaha. Normally it takes more time to decide and the last time I signed a contract we spent more months and more races but this time it happened like this and I said yes to Yamaha. For this reason I will be a little less worried for the next few races.”

Ben Spies started from the front row and finished in fifth  marking his best showing of the season so far.
Ben Spies lead early on but experienced rear tire issues which took him out of the contest for podium position.

Ben Spies Mystified by Tire Issue

Ben Spies is still seeking his first MotoGP podium of the season after a sudden and early drop in rear grip ended his victory challenge at Silverstone yesterday. The American led for the opening four laps but dropped back to sixth with a lack of rear grip from his soft Bridgestone rear tire selection.

Andrea Dovizioso’s crash out of the top three on Lap 10 put Spies back into fifth but he was unable to maintain his pace and challenge the Repsol Honda duo of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa for his first rostrum since the final race of the 800cc era in Valencia last November.

Fifth was still his best result of a difficult season, but the 2009 World Superbike champion said: “It feels a bit of a bittersweet race. At the beginning the bike felt great. I was feeling good and the pace was good. But after four or five laps we had a big drop with the rear tire and frankly I don’t know what happened. We didn’t experience it in practice, qualifying or anything. And after that it was just damage control basically. Our lap times dropped over a second a lap and it was very strange. After the race we saw the left the side was blistered pretty bad. But we don’t have an explanation yet. What is more important is that we showed the bike was obviously working good and the speed was there at the beginning and usually our strongest point is at the end of the race. But all I could do was just try and keep my place and get a decent position. We can take a lot of positives from the race, but obviously it’s a bit frustrating when we had a bike working that well and I wasn’t able to capitalize on it.”

Spies denied that opting for the harder compound tire would have been the better selection and he added: “We were thinking about it but also with the weather and the temperature and everything, the soft tire seemed to be the better option. It wasn’t a case of the tire being too soft. We don’t have a reason right now of why it happened or why it looked the way it did. But I don’t think it was because we needed to be on the hard tire. Obviously the people in front of us were on the soft tire and after four or five laps when I was getting passed I couldn’t even stay close to the guys. It wasn’t even a race then. I was just trying to keep a decent rhythm for the rest of the race. I knew Casey was right behind but I just kept just trying to plug away. And then we just had a huge drop and there was nothing we could do about it. I tried to stay as close as I could in case something happened but there was no way I could get back up there.”