Jorge Lorenzo admitted that Casey Stoner was simply too quick for him in Sunday's United States Grand Prix after the two fought out a tense battle at Laguna Seca.
Despite riding in severe pain following a crash in practice, Lorenzo led away from pole position and wasn't overhauled until six laps from home, when Stoner scythed past at turn one. The Australian promptly escaped into the distance forcing Lorenzo to settle for a safe second.
The reigning World Champion now trails Stoner by 20 points in the title race but was satisfied to collect a good points haul after a painful weekend.
“Well first of all I'm lucky to be in the second position, after the crash yesterday I thought it wasn't possible to race for a little while. After qualifying I hoped I might be able to fight till the end for victory but sometimes expectations are not reality. Casey was faster today, I couldn't match his pace at the end. My physical condition is not so perfect which makes us a bit slow as well. Second is ok, we are only 20 points behind Casey and we'll try again next time.”
Yamaha Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg was also pleased to leave California with a podium finish and expects Lorenzo to be back in a position to challenge Stoner in three weeks time at Brno.
“A spectacular race by Jorge with a great 20 points secured. It is obvious we wanted to win this one but I think yesterday's crash gave us not the best physical condition for a 32 lap race. At the end of the day, to take 20 points after a crash like that is not so bad. We'll take some rest now and head to Brno recovered and in fighting form ready to challenge Casey again.”