until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


‘Best-ever Ducati vs weakest Yamaha’ – Lorenzo on MotoGP 2022

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo has told The Race that, despite the fact that points leader Fabio Quartararo can “make magic” onboard his Yamaha M1, he believes that the Frenchman’s Ducati rival Pecco Bagnaia is the favourite to pick up the crown.

Bagnaia is two points behind reigning champion Quartararo with three races left to run, and qualified two places ahead for Sunday’s Phillip Island race.

Lorenzo is perhaps almost uniquely qualified to offer an opinion on the situation given that he not only won three championships onboard various predecessors to Quartararo’s Yamaha but also because of his subsequent Ducati success after making the switch to the Italian marque, with which he won three races.

Jorge Lorenzo Jorge Martin Ducati Pramac MotoGP

Speaking exclusively to The Race after Australian Grand Prix qualifying, the Spaniard said that he’s witnessed two incredibly strong campaigns from both riders – and is adamant that, along with six-time world champion Marc Marquez (who is still recovering from his latest arm surgery), the trio are by far the strongest racers on the grid right now.

“I think we are seeing the best Ducati ever,” Lorenzo explained, “and probably the weakest Yamaha in the past 15 years. It’s difficult, difficult for Fabio to keep going and to stay alive until the end, but he’s trying the best he can.

“I think he’s only made two mistakes this year, in Assen and in the rain in Thailand. But apart from that, sometimes he’s making literally magic with his bike.

“Pecco has matured a lot this year, especially because sometimes he isn’t fast enough on Friday but with patience and maturity he can find something with the team to be competitive in FP4 or even the qualifying.

“This demonstrates that he’s matured, and they’re a very strong combination right now – Ducati with the best bike and Pecco, probably together with Marc and Fabio, the three best riders.”

Francesco Bagnaia Fabio Quartararo MotoGP Phillip Island

But while he might believe that Quartararo has managed to perform exceptionally this year, Lorenzo also seems to think that it might not quite be enough come the final round in Valencia in a few weeks’ time – and that championship outsider Aleix Espargaro (who sits 20 points adrift of Quartararo on the Aprilia) is even less likely to overcome the might of Ducati without luck playing a hand in proceedings.

“Anything can happen,” he admitted, “and Pecco and Fabio can make some mistakes and be unlucky. But if everything goes normal, for Aleix it is difficult.

“For the moment, it’s still Fabio leading – but just because of some mistakes of Bagnaia’s and a very weak beginning of the season. If not for this, Bagnaia would have many points of advantage.

“But you know, I see a clear advantage at Sepang race for Ducati, but not so clear here in Australia or in Valencia. Maybe, with luck and doing some magic, Fabio can resist and win the championship.

“But for my opinion, Pecco should win.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks