Jorge Lorenzo says that he “couldn’t be happier” after the first pre-season test.
The Spanish rider set an unofficial lap record to set the fastest time of the test and afterwards said that he was very happy with how the test had gone.
He feels that the bike has improved in key areas, making him feel better and able to push more. Lorenzo’s key strengths lie in his smooth style and maintaining high corner speed. The new Desmosedici enables him to carry more corner speed, leading to lower lap times.
Whilst fast times in testing don’t always translate to fast race pace, Lorenzo is confident of challenging for the world title this seaon. He struggled to adapt to the Ducati during 2017, though by the end of the season was regularly in podium contention. Whilst winning the world championship requires a lot of things to go in a rider’s favour, Lorenzo feels that if he can maintain this early pace he has a chance.
Further Upgrades for Thailand
To further cement his good feeling, Ducati are due to have an upgraded chassis at the next test. Both riders will have a chance to try the chassis at the Thailand test which begins on February 16th. With Ducati leading the way on aerodynamics, an upgraded chassis may enable the bike to be even quicker. Lorenzo seemed in a happy mood when discussing the improvements that can still be made to the bike, which should enable him to challenge for race wins during the new season.
With Andrea Dovizioso finishing runner-up to Marc Marquez in 2017 and Yamaha showing good pace at this test, there could be a six way fight for the world title in 2018.