Jorge Lorenzo was proud to leave France victorious after an immensely challenging Grand Prix at Le Mans on Sunday. The race was run in wet conditions, not conditions that have always favoured the Spaniard, but Lorenzo was dominant, leading from halfway around the first lap.
Jorge admitted it was tough to avoid making a mistake in such difficult track conditions, making the win all the more satisfying.
“It was really difficult to hold concentration today, in the dry it's complicated but in the wet it's even more. The race feels much longer and you have to remember where the corners are slippery every lap. If you forget one you can crash very easily. I started the race determined to be in first position from the beginning and managed to keep my concentration even when Casey was catching me. It would have been easy to push a bit more and make a mistake at that moment but I waited for a few more laps to see what happened then opened the gap again to win this fantastic race. A big thank you to my team who worked very hard in difficult conditions to make a set up that worked for me.”
Yamaha teammate Ben Spies had another terrible afternoon and actually had to pit early on to clear water from his helmet. The American rejoined eventually but finished a lowly sixteenth, compounding what has been a tough start to 2012.
“That was a rough race. We actually got off to a good start at the beginning then had a very big moment on the line, something happened because then I had quite a lot of water coming in through my helmet and couldn't see much on the first five laps. I hoped it would get better but I couldn't see anything and decided to come in because I need to see where I am going. I knew the race was gone by then so went back out to try and get some data and get better working with the bike in the rain. Circumstances meant it wasn't a good day.”
All in all, it was a mixed race for Yamaha with both satellite riders crashing when looking good for a podium finish and the factory squad's team director Massimo Meregalli is confident of a better showing for Spies in particular in Catalunya.
“We were expecting a different race but unfortunately this bad luck doesn't want to disappear. We're looking forward to Barcelona, we won't give up and we will get back up to where we belong with Ben. Jorge led a perfect race; he was incredible, especially considering circuit conditions. It's important to take the Championship lead again so let's see what we can do in two weeks time.”