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GP Week : Issue 109
HOPEFUL of repeating his home- race win at Jerez, defending champion Jorge Lorenzo will be relying on the Spanish circuit’s diet of almost constant corners to hand him back the advantage over the rampant Hondas. The 23-year-old managed to beat all but one of them at Losail, but said afterwards: “If I have to ride like that all year, I will crash for sure.” His precise style and the Yamaha’s trade-mark faithful handling qualities gave Lorenzo the ability to get past the fading Pedrosa, and stay clear of the third factory Repsol Honda of Dovizioso, but when he tried to close on Stoner he had a narrow escape from falling, and had to settle for second. Lorenzo affirmed that he has asked Yamaha for more horsepower, but upgrades are not expected until the first tests of the season, the day after the Portuguese GP (round three), at Estoril. The track outside Lisbon also has a long straight, at 986 metres; while Losail’s is the longest of the year, at more than a kilometre, at 1,068m. By comparison, Jerez’s longest straight is barely 600 metres, and the rest of the circuit consists of almost constant mid- to high-speed corners. “Jerez should suit the Yamaha better,” Lorenzo told a briefing group in Spain. “At Losail we had a lot of trouble down the long straight.” Statistics are against him: since the Spanish GP moved to Jerez in 1989, Honda has claimed 15 wins, and Yamaha only four, though all of those were in the past six years. Footnote: A local government rescue package has secured the future of the Jerez circuit, after a financial dispute with contractors saw the track’s assets frozen earlier this year. At the same time, Dorna confirmed a new MotoGP contract until 2016. One of the year’s biggest events, with race-day crowds approaching 125,000, the race is a big earner for the region. Moto GP news >> Lorenzo hopes for corner comfort at Jerez