Photography by Gold & Goose
You could tell by his body language and the conversations he was having with the Bridgestone tire personnel that Jorge Lorenzo wasn’t exactly thrilled at the amount of grip at the Losail Circuit in Qatar today. And the results also showed it, the two-time World Champion and winner of the past two opening rounds at Losail finding himself in ninth at the end of the session.

“I’m a little disappointed because hearing the comments of the riders that were here two weeks ago it seemed the tires were working really well,” Lorenzo said in a team release. “Having arrived here it seems the track is a little worse, the feeling of the rear tire is more or less the same as in Sepang [the pre-season tests], with little grip and traction. We didn’t have three days to test here like the top five so our problems are bigger. We must hope that the tire gets better and we can improve the grip on the rear.”

Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi was a bit better off, the eight-time World Champion ending up seventh – the second best of the factory men behind Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa – and more positive in his assessment than his teammate.

“The track is in quite a bad condition, but I think it’s quite normal for a first practice,” Rossi said. “There is a lot of sand and not a lot of rubber down. Also a lot of riders except the factory riders have been here for three days and have done a lot more km and a lot more laps so it’s normal they are stronger than us. Now the work for the weekend will be hard to reduce the gap. I have a lack of grip front and rear on corner entry and also on acceleration the bike moves very much. I think the condition of the track is getting better and it will get easier.”

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