Maiden Ducati podium more satisfying 'than many wins' for Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo believes his maiden podium finish for Ducati ranks higher than many of his 65 grand prix victories, after the Spaniard crossed the line third in yesterday’s 27-lap Spanish Grand Prix.

Lorenzo’s beginning to life at Ducati has been difficult, the triple MotoGP world champion managing a best finish of ninth in the opening three races. But a change in seating position made during practice in Argentina began to change his fortunes, Lorenzo able to ride more confidently and explore more set-up options.

The Ducati rider was able to be competitive for the entire Spanish Grand Prix weekend as a result, though this came as some surprise at a circuit typically not best suited to the Desmosedici.

“A podium here at Jerez, in front of all my fans and after three complicated races, is the best present I could receive for my 30th birthday,” he said.

“It’s a result that gives me more satisfaction than many wins I scored in the past, because it was very difficult to achieve.

“To finish third on a Ducati, at a traditionally difficult circuit for the Desmosedici, is incredible.”

Lorenzo puts his podium pace down to a ‘key’ choice in front tyre, the Spaniard one of four riders to opt for the medium option despite the rising temperatures.

Regardless of the risky choice, he made it work for him, using his early grip advantage to quickly carve his way through the pack from eighth on the grid. With 16 laps to go, Lorenzo passed Johann Zarco for third and was able to ease away from the Frenchman.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to be able to fight for the podium, and the choice of front tyre was the key,” he explained.

“The start was a bit chaotic because of the number of riders ahead of me, but I didn’t give up so easily and believed that I could recover to overtake Zarco and finish third.

“The last few months have been tough, but the most important thing is that I’ve always believed in myself and that the team has shown its full trust in me.” |