Jorge Lorenzo says he was relieved Marc Marquez struggled in the opening laps of today’s MotoGP race at Valencia as his own closing laps were dogged by rear tyre problems.
The outgoing champ was all smiles as he bowed out from his tenure with the Movistar Yamaha team today after a dominant weekend where he took pole, smashed records and then took the victory, securing himself third in the championship.
But he admitted he was starting to worry in the final few laps as he watched his lead over the new World Champion vanish, and says a lot of it ultimately came down to luck.
Both Lorenzo and team-mate Valentino Rossi struggled in the final seven laps thanks to tyre wear, and Lorenzo later revealed his troubles were down to the rear.
“The right side of the front tyre, when I look at it after the race looks a little bit like graining or some damage but I don’t feel so much this time, the main problem was the left side of the rear tyre that was struggling so much especially in the last corner when I open the throttle, the rear just slide so much,” he explained.
“I suffer, I struggle so much in the last 10 laps because the maximum gap was five seconds, then the gap reduced to 4.5 and eventually I saw Marc in second place on the board and I knew he was going to try everything and going to be very, very quick, and probably also he would have a better rear tyre or he would have saved more the tyre on the left, because I was struggling so much in the middle of the race.
“I had to be very focused and very precise not to lose the rear, especially in the last corner, and he was coming so quick and recovering eight tenths, nine tenths, so I was lucky that he had so many problems at the beginning. I was lucky that I could push, and ride very well.”
As Lorenzo prepares for his first day with the Ducati squad on Tuesday, he paid tribute to the team who he has been with for nine years.
“These last nine years there have been a lot of good things, very successful and it was a perfect weekend – 250 GPs, pole position, fastest lap and victory. I’m very proud and very happy,” he added.