Lorenzo heads to Texas 18th overall for Ducati
Jorge Lorenzo sheds rumours and Argentina crash, heading to Texas positive
While rumours may suggest that Jorge Lorenzo will step down after a disappointing start to the 2017 MotoGP season, with only five-points to his name from Qatar and a DNF result in Argentina, it belies the racer’s character that such would be enough to stop a three-time World MotoGP Champion, with two 250cc World Champion titles under his belt to boot.
Apart from his three MotoGP Championship titles in 2010, 2012 and most recently 2015 where he edged out Valentino Rossi in a drama filled season, Lorenzo’s worst championship standing since 2008 was a fourth overall, in that same opening season.
Since then he’s been on the championship podium every year with three seconds and two-thirds. Lorenzo was also runner up in 2011, behind Ducati mounted Casey Stoner, with rumours suggesting Ducati sought him as a rider as far back as 2010.
It’s hard to imagine a rider with these accomplishments, not to mention having shared a garage with Valentino Rossi, would be dissuaded by a poor start to the season, with all attention now on improving going forward, with Lorenzo sharing that he’s feeling improvement on the Desmosedici but has been so far unable to demonstrate this in the results.
After the second round of the season, which was held ten days ago in Argentina, the MotoGP teams and riders are now arriving in the USA, for the next event on Texan soil at the Circuit of The Americas, on the outskirts of Austin.
Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizoso of the Ducati Team are both determined to put behind them the disappointments of Termas de Río Hondo, and in Texas they will find a track where Ducati has always done well in recent years.
When it comes to the Circuit of the Americas the history is shorter, with the circuit only featuring on the MotoGP calendar for four years, where Lorenzo has taken home a fourth, third and second place, and is no doubt hoping to add the final mark to the tally with a first.
Jorge Lorenzo – 18th overall after Round 2 (5 points)
“Finally we have arrived at Austin, and I just couldn’t wait to get here after my crash at Termas de Río Hondo. I don’t want to think about what happened in Argentina anymore, and even though the results up until now haven’t gone our way, I think we are on the right track to improve. Unfortunately for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to demonstrate this. Austin is a great circuit, one where I have never won, but Ducati here has always been competitive and has been on the podium in the last three years. It’s a good track to keep on developing the Desmosedici and adapting my riding style. In the team we are all optimistic, we’re working well together and I’m sure this difficult moment will be over soon.”
Teammate Dovizioso on the other hand has scored a seventh place in 2013, a third place in 2014 and an excellent runner-up slot in 2015, while last year he was hit by the bike of Dani Pedrosa at the start of lap 7, while in third place, and had to retire.
Andrea Dovizioso – 3rd overall after Round 2 (20 points)
“I was clearly very disappointed after the race in Argentina but now, after a few days’ vacation, I am fully focused on the race in Texas. The Circuit of the Americas is a fantastic track, one of the best on the calendar, and it has totally different characteristics to the previous two circuits in Qatar and Argentina. I like racing a lot at Austin, also because there is a really good atmosphere, both in the circuit and downtown, and I’m up for the battle. It will be a good opportunity to put things right after Termas and I’m convinced that we can be really competitive on this track.”
The Austin weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am local time (16.55 CET) while the 21-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm local time (21.00 CET).
Did you know…?
– Last year, the two factory Ducatis clocked the two fastest speeds of the entire race: 345.2 and 344.2 km/h.
– The last three years that the World Championship has visited COTA, there has always been a Ducati on the podium.
– Andrea Dovizioso finished on the podium in two of the last editions; he finished third in 2014, second in 2015 and last year, while fighting for the top positions, he ended up on the ground because Pedrosa crashed while braking and took him out of the race.
– Although Aleix Espargaró took out Dovizioso in the last GP of Argentina, the Ducati rider is third in the provisional Championship classification.
– Ducati has one victory in the United States, the win by Stoner in 2007 when the American race was held at Laguna Seca.
– Jorge Lorenzo has won twice in the United States. In 2009 at the Indianapolis circuit, and in 2010 at the spectacular Laguna Seca.
– The second place achieved last year is Lorenzo’s best result at COTA.
– COTA is one of the five circuits in the calendar where Jorge Lorenzo hasn’t yet won.
– COTA is the track with the longest straight on the entire calendar at 1200 meters.
– Circuit of the Americas has the biggest acceleration point in the world. It’s produced on the back straight, where the acceleration starts in first gear at 60 km/h and reaches 350 km/h.
– The elevation change at the circuit is 41 meters, with 26 of these meters changing at the end of the finish line in Turn 1, creating a hill with a gradient of 16.25%.
– COTA has the highest tower within a speed circuit with 25 floors and a height of 77 meters.
– In 2015, the MotoGP practice was stopped for 20 minutes because a dog ran onto the track.