New Ducati parts bringing Lorenzo "a bit of happiness"
Ducati MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo says the new parts brought by the Italian manufacturer to Jerez have given him "a bit of happiness" after a miserable start to his season.
Lorenzo has struggled to gel with the 2018 version of the Ducati Desmosedici and has picked up just six points in the first three races of the year.
Arriving at Jerez, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer came with unspecified updates – with a modified seat unit understood to be among them.
And whereas teammate Andrea Dovizioso "didn't try anything new" on the first day of running at Jerez, Lorenzo did - and said the new parts took the GP18 "a little bit in the direction that I want".
"We are trying new things in the bike, Ducati brings here some new parts of the bike," Lorenzo explained.
"They work well today, to make the bike more smooth with the throttle, in the middle of the corner and the acceleration.
"And this a little bit goes into direction that I want for that bike, that we lose a little bit with the new bike. [We] have improved in some areas, in stability, in smoothness, in exit of the corners.
"With these new pieces the bike goes a little bit in the direction I want, so that's why today this give me a little bit of happiness."
Lorenzo, who has had plenty of success at Jerez over the years, was only 15th in opening practice, but improved to seventh in FP2 – and felt he had the pace to end Friday higher up in the timesheets.
"In the morning I didn't put the new tyre - so I put it from the beginning of the second free practice, but the first soft tyre in the rear for me was not good, so I couldn't be much faster.
"When I put the middle [medium] rear tyre, I improve one second. So the middle tyre have much more grip than the first soft new tyre, this is not normal.
"Then I put another soft tyre in the end, I improve the laptime.
"Was a pity that in my last lap one gear missed, so I lose the lap because [of] this mistake of the gear. I was quicker and could be maybe top five."
The Spaniard added that, while Honda riders have dominated proceedings at Jerez and were "favourites for the race", he felt he could bridge the gap with set-up changes for Saturday.
"The important thing of today is these pieces that Ducati brings that makes my life more easy, I'm confident and positive about that.
"And if tomorrow we can bring that setting that makes the bike turn more in the second part of the corner, till acceleration, we can be much closer to the Honda guys who are here the fastest ones."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
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