Lorenzo hails Qatar victory ‘one of the best of my career’

Lorenzo race
Lorenzo took the top step in Qatar.                                    Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo began the defence of his 2015 title in style this weekend securing the victory in dominant style with aboard his Movistar Yamaha machine.

At the now traditional season opener under the floodlights in Qatar, Lorenzo started from pole position but had it up against him as he had to defend his position from Ducati team-mates Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso.

The Spaniards pace never faltered throughout the 22 laps and once he re-took the lead from Dovizioso he was able to dominate the race and set his fastest laps of the race towards the end.

Lorenzo was surprised by his fast pace and hailed it one of his best of his career:“We are there, in first position, without struggling and suffering and riding in the perfect way. For me, over all laps, this race has been one of the best of my whole career and that was why I was able to win and could make this little difference in the last three laps that gave me the victory. It was a little down and up with the tyres. We made the decision to put on the soft rear tyre, because with the hard one we couldn’t be so fast. The harder compound should become better and better, but I think what happened was the opposite. The softer tyre should get worse and worse, but it was faster and faster so this little difference was the difference between me and Dovizioso and Marquez.

“I was surprised how fast my pace was towards the end of the race. I was sliding so much, but at the same time I was very smooth and concentrated and made no mistakes and that’s why even with the pressure from Dovizioso, when I was at a margin of 0.4, .03, 0.5, I didn’t get nervous and kept riding better and better. I feel very proud of my riding and my race and also the work of the team, because we put together the electronics and the setting of the bike in a very good way.

Despite not finishing on the podium Italian team-mate Valentino Rossi was happy with his race pace and came away from the opening round of the season not only with a new contract but continuing to learn how to ride his YRZ M1 with the Michelin tyres.

Rossi was able to stay up with the leading group for the full 22 laps and looked to be a serious podium contender towards the end of the race as he set the fastest lap of the race with 9 laps remaining. Despite this pace the 37 year old was unable to make a move on Andrea Dovizoso or Marc Marquez in order to get him on the podium.

Rossi still enjoyed the race despite his lack of speed: “At the end it was a great race, the pace was very fast from the beginning to the end, but unfortunately I stayed behind and I didn’t have enough speed to try and attack. I was there but I was never in the real fight, I was always a little bit behind. We need a faster pace and maybe the tyre choice can make some difference, but we don’t know.

Maybe with the soft tyre I could go faster or I could go slower. We arrived behind and unfortunately didn’t get on the podium, but it was a good race anyway, with a good start. We are there, we have to work, but for sure we are competitive. Last year in Argentina was a great race, one of the best with a great pace and I was coming from behind, but this year it will be a different story, especially with the tyres. We need to understand our potential this year.

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