With gutsy ride in Brno
Fiat Yamaha Team rookie Jorge Lorenzo finished a creditable tenth in Brno on Sunday, making up seven places after starting last on the grid.
The Spaniard made the most of the tools he had available to pass several riders, including two on
the last lap, and hangs onto his fourth place in the championship as a result.
His team-mate Valentino Rossi won his fifth race of the season and was saved another tense battle with Casey Stoner after the Australian crashed out of the lead on the seventh lap.
Lorenzo was able to pass Colin Edwards early on and he then gradually settled into a rhythm and passed both James Toseland and Dani Pedrosa to take 12th. During the middle part of the race his lap times gradually improved and brought him closer to the next group and he was rewarded with an exciting final lap, which saw him pass first Sylvain Guintoli and then John Hopkins on the line to take tenth.
“This race is a bit sad for me because we have the potential to do a lot better. However considering what has happened this weekend and, above all, the problems with the front tyre, I think we have done almost as much as we could”, he commented. “At the start I didn't want to take too many risks and I could feel that the front tyre was getting worse on each lap, but on the other hand the rear tyre was getting better each lap! I know that we have had had problems this weekend but I know that Michelin are working very hard, so now we will try to use the test to make some improvements. I want to say thank you to all of my team for their hard work, congratulate Valentino for his victory and finally also Toni Elias for his podium.
“Today we couldn't have done any better than this, but we can't be satisfied to finish tenth”, added Team Manager Daniele Romagnoli. “But overall Jorge did a great job and a good race, and he was able to find a good rhythm in the middle part of the race, continue until to the end and pass many riders, plus he was able to score some valuable points. Motivation in our team is still high because we have many more races to do and tomorrow at the test we will start again to work very hard with Michelin, look at the problems we have had here and try to find a way to improve things for the remaining races.”
Six points for Lorenzo see him stay ten points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in fourth place in the championship, whilst Rossi is now 50 points clear of Stoner.
The Fiat Yamaha Team now have two days of testing before they head to the next round at Misano in Italy in two week's time.