Ducati Corse’s Jorge Lorenzo ended the Phillip Island test having made a step forward in adapting to the Desmosedici, but admits that ‘something is still not right’ during cornering.
The five-times world champion has spent all of 2017 trying to adapt his riding style to suit the Ducati after discovering the bike to be more difficult to ride than it was in Valencia last November.
Much like in Malaysia, Lorenzo began to make a breakthrough on the final day of running in Australia and was able to drop his lap time to close to that of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso’s.
The Mallorcan completed 75 laps of Phillip Island and was eighth overall on a 1m29.342s, which is a gain of around 1.3s from Wednesday. Somewhat encouragingly, Lorenzo believes he could have improved by a further three tenths had he been able to run the softer tyre in the morning.
“Today we made an important step forward to better understand the bike, just like we did on the final day of the test in Sepang, and my lap times improve a lot.,” he said.
“It was a pity that we were not able to use the soft tyre this morning, when the track conditions were ideal, because I think I could have got my time down by another three tenths.
“But, at this moment, the times are not as important as the feeling on the bike and understanding the most efficient way to ride it.”
Lorenzo’s riding style is all about maximising corner speed, but the heavy Desmosedici GP17 is still fighting him in this area and the team are yet to find a solution to get around this problem.
To make matters worse Aspar Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, who is riding last year’s bike, has been able to carry much more corner speed than Lorenzo and this has him puzzled.
“Something is still not right and we still didn’t discover. We need to discover something that allows me to enter the corners faster to open more throttle and generally go faster in the corner speed,” the Spaniard said to bikesportnews.com following today’s session.
“We don’t have the bike, Ducati, with the best corner speed but at this moment Bautista in most of the corners is much faster than me and we have to understand what is going on.
“Bautista has adapted very well and he’s much faster than me on some corners and there’s something not working, so we’ll try to investigate everything and find a solution.”