MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo feels that Ducati are a real threat at the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on March 20.
Recently in testing at Qatar on the Losail International Circuit, Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo lapped 0.6s faster than second quickest Scott Redding on a Pramac-run Ducati.
In an interview with the Motosport website, Lorenzo said the Ducati’s good adaptability to the new Michelin control tyres would make them a dangerous outfit at the Losail Circuit.
“Potentially the Ducati’s work very well, as the times demonstrate, and they will be very strong in the race,” said Lorenzo.
“We tried both tyres on the front and the rear, so I knew the softer solution at the front was the best to make a fast lap. For race simulation, unfortunately, we had some problems with graining.
“Some riders have the same problems as me, some others not – like the Ducatis and [Honda’s Marc] Marquez.”
The Spaniard added that he thinks Michelin could very well bring a harder ‘soft’ construction option for the March 20 event.
“After speaking with Michelin, they are planning to keep the 34 [tyre construction code], the one I used to make the race simulation, and to prepare a new medium tyre – because the soft one was maybe too soft for some riders, and they have to give tyres that work for everyone,” said Lorenzo.
“I made a complete race simulation with the hard front tyre [on Friday], which was not the best option to go fast, but it was better than [Thursday’s] simulation.
“But if I didn’t have the problem with graining on the right side of the soft tyre, I could do 1m55.5s or 55.3s, but unfortunately, it wasn’t working after some laps.
“In higher speed it was very nervous. If I have a better front tyre I think I can go faster.”