Jorge Lorenzo is refusing to give up on the 2011 MotoGP World Championship despite losing further ground to Casey Stoner at Indianapolis. The reigning champion toiled throughout the weekend and could only manage fourth, with Stoner's victory increasing the gap between them to 44 points with six races to go.
Lorenzo blamed excessive tyre wear for his poor race pace but with Misano likely to provide a different challenge next weekend, the Spaniard is hoping to put this weekend behind him.
“It’s a shame; I thought I could reduce my gap with Casey at Indy but since the first practice I have had many problems with the asphalt and the front tyre. I’ve tried everything with my team to fix it, but we couldn’t. After four or five laps the front tyre was destroyed. I saw the other three front riders and their tyres were perfect. I don’t know if it was because of the track and I'm not the only one complaining. Now the Championship is much more complicated, but hope is the last thing you can lose. Next weekend we ride again at Misano, I looking forward to forgetting this result.”
Yamaha still had a rider on the podium though as Ben Spies capitalised on the problems for his teammate to take third from him 12 laps from home. The American was forced back to ninth after a nightmare first lap and was sad to be denied the chance to challenge Stoner.
“My actual start wasn't too bad, just a couple of people got into turn one too hot and I got bottled in. I think Dovi came across in front of me in turn four and I was just glad to stay on the bike. I never even saw him. After that happened we just had to pluck away and not get ahead of ourselves. We rode well but just needed to be up there in the first four turns. I rode as fast as I could; it was tough to pass out there as we couldn't get it done on the straight so we had to figure out some different spots. I was happy to be able to do that and still run good pace at the end.”
Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg was left to look back on a disappointing weekend after seeing any hopes of victory disappear on lap one.
“A disappointing weekend, fourth place I think was the maximum we could get out of it (with Lorenzo). It was clear that even one lap more might have meant finishing fifth; the front tyre was completely gone, that's basically the whole story. It was also disappointing that Ben was not able to fight for the win. He did a fantastic sixteen last laps but the first ten were very hard for him after the start. I think he could have fought with Casey. Anyway, third and fourth we have to swallow and we will look to Misano.”