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In an interview with ‘As’, Jorge Lorenzo has recounted what he has experienced this strange season as a Yamaha test rider and his intentions for 2021.
The five-time world champion admits that his first year as a Yamaha tester has been greatly altered by the coronavirus pandemic, although he acknowledges that he has not understood the Japanese team very well either.
“I honestly believe that COVID-19 has hurt us both, and that without it it would have been a very profitable year.”
But, after understanding, it is claimed: “In the end, what happened is that They have not been able or known to use me: It is as if you are a soccer team, you have Messi or Ronaldo, and you don’t take advantage of it … The reality is that I only did two days of testing in Sepang and, furthermore, because I insisted, because it was not planned ”. A test that, as we know, he did on a M1 2019 and not about the current 2020.
Eight months without getting on a MotoGP
Last month, and without having foreseen it, the Portimao test arrived:
“I recently had only a day and a half in Portimao. It couldn’t have been two days, because the mechanics had to leave. There were some infected with coronavirus and they were short of staff at the French GP, so we finished earlier ”.
His slowness on the Portuguese circuit was criticized. Lorenzo tells the reasons:
“In June, when we were in full COVID, I was told from Yamaha that there would probably be no more testing, so I lowered my training pace, because I did not know what I would do the following year and, if I continued, I would not have any more tests until February “, affirms the Mallorcan.
“Suddenly and without expecting it, Meregalli (Yamaha sporting director) He told me that there was this test in Portimao, in order to prepare for the race that will take place there, and I began to train as best I could ”.
But it was not enough: “There was little time left and I did not arrive in the best shape. In addition, and above all, I had not gotten into a MotoGP for eight months, which is a super extreme bike, so you lose everything: you lose your rhythm, your reflexes, the reaction time becomes slower and until you get back to all that, you need a few days of acclimatization to MotoGP, your name is Lorenzo, Rossi or Márquez”.
The cause of not racing at Motorland
Lorenzo reiterates the improvisation of everything and as well as having to ride on last year’s motorcycle:
“If you add to that that it was time to go to a circuit as difficult and strange as Portimao, with a team that rides at the last minute, plus an old motorcycle, it is difficult to be minimally competitive… ”, Jorge says.
He believes that his poor times in the Algarve were the reason why Yamaha decided not to replace Rossi in Aragon, and even consider his continuity, having conversations with Dovizioso:
“It gives me the feeling that that test has generated some doubts about my competitiveness, but it would be unfair and a great mistake to take as a reference only what happened in Portimao. Above all, knowing my past with the brand and my performance when we went to Sepang at the beginning of the year. There I had not gotten on the M1 for three or four years and I stayed at 1.3 of the fastest”.
The priority is Yamaha, but …
“As I said a few weeks ago, I want to continue as a tester and my first choice is still Yamaha, because of what I have won with them and because I feel very good with the bike, but there are other options as well. Yes the other one is Aprilia”.
“I spoke with Lin Jarvis (Yamaha team leader) and he told me that he would soon have news from Japan about the plan that they would like to implement for next year, and I am waiting to hear from you. Let’s see what it communicates to me”.
Tester and ‘coach’
“With Aprilia I got my first two world championships, so I have a winning story with Aprilia and it would be nice to close the circle -if it were the case- with them. It is a more uncomfortable option, because the M1 is more natural for me, but if it made them improve their performance it would be a more attractive merit, as is the case of Pedrosa with KTM. They have listened to him and the results have been seen. The improvement in Yamaha is not seen so much. What’s more, I think it could do Iannone a lot of good too, if they allow him to race next year. We both live in Lugano and I could be your ‘coach’ ”.
Whether with Yamaha or Aprilia, Lorenzo would not want to pass up the opportunity to compete in some races:
“I would like to leave the door open -by contract- to the maximum wild cards that the factory could make. In the case of being competitive and if I feel like it, it would be nice to have that possibility. I will fight by contract to have that possibility. Another thing is that it becomes reality or not, that will depend on some factors ”.
Follow the MotoGP World Championship on DAZN
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