Ducati new boy Jorge Lorenzo found himself less than two-tenths off the pace after three days of MotoGP testing at Qatar and warned he still hasn’t found the limit of the Desmosedici GP17.
The Spaniard methodically upped his pace as each test has progressed until he is on a par not only with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso - who has years of experience with Ducati’s MotoGP project - but also with the likes of Maverick Vinales who seems to be at the top of his game on Lorenzo’s bike from last year.
However, Qatar is very much a Ducati playground with four Desmos in the top ten overall times, so the real proof will be at Jerez when the European ‘ground war’ begins.
“I'm pleased because I could see that when I feel good with the bike, I can be very fast. And I still haven't found the limit of this bike for one lap. But the most important thing is the race, obviously, and for the moment we still have a lot of work to do on the Friday and Saturday before the race to improve the pace,” said Lorenzo, speaking at the track.
“But a big improvement compared to yesterday. Especially with the soft tires, they gave us a lot of benefit. But also I believe that we can be competitive with the hard tyres, and this is the objective and the goal for the weekend.
“Petrucci did a good simulation with the hard rear tyre, so that means the bike can also work with this. The tyre has been crucial for the big improvement. But also more hours understanding the bike, and better riding, I guess. We need to work a little bit more on the consistency to understand more why we couldn't keep in the 1'54s for more time. But we will improve something for the weekend, I'm sure.”