Jorge Lorenzo refused to rule out his chances of a maiden MotoGP win around the Sachsenring after qualifying on the outside of the front row in third position.
The Spaniard has seemingly recaptured his old form since getting the tank adjustment from Ducati and is enjoying his and Ducati’s best weekend around the tricky German circuit in recent years.
Lorenzo said that a small mistake cost him pole position, but overall he is happy with his pace here and thinks he can challenge for victory.
“We are really happy about this position and speed, because coming here if somebody told me we’d do a 20.3 it would be difficult to believe,” said Lorenzo. “But we arrive here with probably a more complete bike than last year and that’s we made it. Some more Ducati’s are very competitive too, so I think we make a strong job in the box to improve the bike a little by little, practice by practice and now we have a good bike for the race.
“I still have some ideas for the warm up and if it works then I can probably improve a little more the bike. But a third place result is very good, pity about second place and pity to lose about the small mistake I made in acceleration some little tenth that could give me probably pole position. But its okay third position place to start and we have good pace and good hope for a good race.”
The five-time World Champion has never won around the German circuit for one reason or another, but in spite of the difficulties he has faced here, the pace shown so far this weekend gives him confidence he may be able to end the drought.
“I’ve been very close to winning here in 2009 and in 2011 I finish second both races I was very close but for some reason I couldn’t take the victory,” he said.
“Probably it’s not one of my favourite tracks or a track I can make a difference, the opposite of Marc who is wining here every the year. But we are close, I am riding better here in Sachsenring compared to other years and the bike is competitive. Winning is not impossible, podium is quite possible so we are going to fight for it.”
Whilst Lorenzo has almost trademarked the fast start in recent years, the factory Ducati rider said that he doesn’t think the start will be all that important for tomorrows race, with tyre preservation being far more important.
“Normally I start quite well with the Ducati, but for example in Montmelo Marc started better than me so can happen also tomorrow,” the Spaniard said.
“Obviously I am going to try to start as better as possible but I don’t think its going to be so important to lead or not lead the race, but as Marc say to control and save the tyres for the last 15 laps.”
On the subject of tyres, Lorenzo had success in both Mugello and Barcelona with the softer rear tyre. Lorenzo’s smooth riding style, coupled with the way he sets his GP18 up means he looks after his rear tyre. Despite this, Lorenzo said it looks like he will be using the medium tyre, rather than the soft, for the race.
“We made a lot of runs with both tyres on the rear, looks like for here the medium can be the better solution. I was quite satisfied with my pace in FP4 so probably I’ll chose the middle one this time. But we are competitive with both tyres probably this time the soft drops a little bit more,” said Lorenzo.