Lorenzo blames tyre graining for late Austin slump

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo says front tyre graining was to blame for his late slide down the order in Sunday's Austin MotoGP round.

Lorenzo blames tyre graining for late Austin slump
Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing, Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
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Lorenzo had begun his Ducati career with an uncompetitive 11th place finish in Qatar, and was eliminated in a first-lap crash in Argentina.

He improved to ninth in Sunday's Circuit of the Americas race, three places off teammate Andrea Dovizioso, to take his best finish yet in his tenure for the Italian marque.

But the Spaniard had been running seventh for much of the distance before slipping behind the Suzuki of Andrea Iannone and the satellite Pramac Ducati of Danilo Petrucci.

"I think until I had the front tyre [problem] I was even getting closer to Dovizioso," Lorenzo suggested.

"My position without a lot of graining in the front was seventh, just behind Dovizioso. But when I started having graining on the right side of the tyre, probably more than the rest of my competitors, I needed to slow down five or seven tenths.

"That's where [Andrea] Iannone caught me and also Iannone passed me quite aggressively so I had to go out of the track in sector one and that's why I lost two seconds on that lap.

"And it's when Petrucci came to me and also passed me in the sectors where I lost a lot for the graining in the front."

Lorenzo added that his riding style was prone to generating graining at Austin: "Also with the Yamaha I had graining in some years here.

"Especially the triple corner to the right creates this type of graining for a lot of riders here - especially a little bit more for my riding style, I lean a little bit more on the throttle.

"But this only happens in this type of track. The other ones, the Ducati works very well for the front tyre, we shouldn't have these types of problems."

Content with progress on bike

Lorenzo's up and down weekend included sixth in first practice and on the grid, but in between he had to go through Q1 having only managed 11th - 1.9s off the pace - on Saturday morning.

In Argentina, Ducati discovered an error with Lorenzo's seating position that he reckoned had "thrown away" much of pre-season testing.

He said feeling "much more comfortable" on the bike was the main reason why he was optimistic, even though results remain low-key.

"This is much more my natural position on the bike and a little bit better even than Argentina, as I could demonstrate in the race," he said.

"The important thing is to feel comfortable on the bike, to feel natural, and to be able to push and enter the corners with confidence and positivity.

"This race was not perfect but we are doing it, and I stayed behind Andrea who has been in the team five years, so he knows the bike perfectly."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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