Jorge Lorenzo feels 'safer' on Honda

Jorge Lorenzo says he feels “safer” when leaning into corners on the Honda MotoGP bike he will race in 2019 in his first interview as an HRC-contracted rider. 

Lorenzo joins Honda in 2019 after Ducati elected not to retain his services past last year – a decision which came just weeks before he took back-to-back victories in Italy and Barcelona.

The Spaniard has already completed four test days on the RC213V in November, but did not speak to the press about it.

In an interview released by Honda, Lorenzo labelled the Ducati “too tall” for him, and says the “compact” Honda allows him to feel “safer” when cornering. 

“Last season I rode a completely different bike, that was very big and very tall,” said Lorenzo.

“Maybe it was a little too big for me. The Honda suits me better in terms of its dimensions. 

“It is more compact, a smaller and lower bike, with which I can lean over better. I felt safer when entering corners, because the closer you are to the ground, the more confidence you have. 

“The first impression was positive and I saw a lot of potential there.” 

In 2018, it took Ducati until the Italian Grand Prix to deliver a fuel tank ergonomic change Lorenzo had been requesting since the pre-season, which he was adamant would allow him to manage the bike better over race distance. 

From the first day of the Valencia test, Honda was already working in this area, with Lorenzo praising the team's “ability to react” to his feedback.

“One of the things that impressed me most was the ability of the Repsol Honda Team to react, providing what you ask for,” he added.

“I was quite clear, Honda took note of all my indications and within a few days they had everything ready - and we had a fuel tank almost one hundred percent to my liking.” 

Commenting on new teammate Marc Marquez, Lorenzo says he will “try to learn” from the five-time MotoGP world champion's strengths, and expects the internal battle between the pair to help the team to “grow”.

“All riders have our strengths and our weaknesses. Marc also has them. I will try to learn from his strengths, and I guess he will try to learn from mine. 

“We will push each other; I will want to beat him and he will want to beat me, and that always makes the team grow and helps provide new technical progress for the bike.” 

The Repsol Honda team 2019 launch will take place in Madrid on January 23.