Jorge Lorenzo believes an encouraging first MotoGP weekend with Honda was “destroyed a little bit” by a significant practice crash.
Lorenzo’s started the weekend by finishing second to Valentino Rossi in first practice, although he ended the first day at the Losail circuit just outside the top 10 after Friday’s more representative night-time session.
He then suffered a major crash at the Turn 6 hairpin in FP3 on Saturday morning that consigned him to Q1, and then fell again in the first part of qualifying.
That consigned him to 15th on the grid, and he could only recover to 13th in Sunday’s race after clutch trouble in the early stages meant he slipped to 20th.
“The big crash [on Saturday] destroyed a little bit our good weekend that we expected in FP1 when we started extremely good,” said Lorenzo.
“After the crash we have never been as quick as the first day. Without the crash I would be directly into Q2, probably second row, third row – much [further] in front, and everything would change.
“Also we had problems on the clutch and especially on the warm-up lap and in the first three, four laps the clutch was spinning.
“I needed to close the throttle in some fast parts of the track to avoid burning the clutch. I fell from P16 to P20 and it was more difficult to recover.
“Small pieces of bad luck all weekend took away our real potential, I think.”
Lorenzo said he ended the opening round of the season convinced that strong results could be just around the corner if he is able to string together a trouble-free weekend.
“For sure Argentina will be much better for my wrist and the rest of the body,” said Lorenzo, who is still recovering from injuries sustained in the winter.
“I need some checks on the shoulder, because I feel some cracks, some movement. But hopefully it’s just the big impact from the crash and nothing is broken.
“In Argentina I will have more experience with the bike and hopefully without a problem with the clutch, some better ergonomics [layout], still some modifications [to make].
“If I am not unlucky, the results will come quite soon.”
Lorenzo said in a social media post on Tuesday he had suffered a minor fracture of the right first rib, which is expected to take a month to heal but will not threaten his participation in Argentina.