MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo may have had a torrid start atop the Desmosdeci, but now the Spaniard can comfortably say that he has outdone his old rival’s performance.
The Ducati is a beast of a bike. It’s rightly earned that reputation for itself over the years as it took many high-profile riders out and made fools of them. Even the legendary Valentino Rossi conceded defeat to the Italian machine that refused to play along.
When Rossi’s old teammate and famous feud partner Jorge Lorenzo took the Red, speculation abounded that Lorenzo was fated to be the next vicitim of the Desmosdeci.
While the first portion of the season certainly did lend toward that belief – with Lorenzo failing to muster competitive performances – the Spaniard has undoubtedly come into his own atop the Red Machine.
Lorenzo’s blazing command of pole position for 15 laps at Aragon was a testament to the Spaniard’s persistence in subjugating the troublesome beast, and proved that he could extract an incredible amount of performance for the bike amidst the world’s toughest competitors.
Although he was unable to fend off attacks from the likes of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa toward the later stages of the race, he has unquestionably made progress. So much so that Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpelta believes that Lorenzo is tipped for the 2018 championship win:
“I believe Jorge will be in the fight for the championship next year.
There is no doubt that within Ducati everyone is happy to have him.
I think Lorenzo is improving, he has been leading in some races for many laps.
It’s true that he still needs to understand better the Ducati and the tires, but Jorge is doing it step-by-step.” – Carmelo Ezpeleta
While we can be certain that Ducati have done everything in their power to accommodate the former World Champion, Lorenzo has had to fight tooth and nail for the results he’s obtained – and that is precisely the attitude that he needs in order to take the fight to the likes of Marc Marquez next year.
Although the 2017 season is still running, it’s clear that Marquez has cemented his place as one of the sport’s most dominant riders. The young Spaniard has surged to the top of the championship results in what may very well become a successful attempt at defending his crown.
And yet, we must pay heed to the unpredictability of the season thus far. Should the likes of Ducati or Yamaha find it within themselves to surge back to the front, Marquez will have his work more than cut out for him.