The three-time MotoGP champion what to think of while riding, how he trains, and butter. Yes, butter.
Carbuyer: You once described your riding style as being like ‘butter’. Could you explain that?
Jorge Lorenzo: When I was young and my mother would make me toast, and spread the butter on it with a knife, and she would do it very smoothly. It’s a comparison – I ride like that, with the bike on the tarmac. In the corner, or chicanes, my body movement on the bike, everything I try to be smoother, smoother, smoother, in the race I try to save energy and be more efficient and safer.
CB: What were the biggest differences between riding the Yamaha and the Ducati?
JL: The changes really were a lot, and actually even more than I expected to be competitive. I wouldn’t say I had to change completely, my riding style, but for example, in braking in the previous bike I didn’t use the rear brake at all, and now I use it a lot. I have to make it slide, to help it turn, and also when opening the throttle I have to be even more progressive, more careful in the middle of the corner, those are the two main differences.
CB: You use a 959 Panigale for training – isn’t that a little underpowered for you?
JL: Testing time is limited, and you can’t use the MotoGP bike for training now, so we can train with motocross, supermoto, supersport or litrebikes. When I ride the 959 it’s not so much about learning, but more to keep up the riding fitness and abilities.
CB: Riding GP bikes is immensely challenging, how do you get into that state of mind for racing?
JL: For us it’s not hard. It’s like walking, or anything, because we’ve been doing it from the time we are three or four years old. So it’s not really like, oh I have to think a lot, or you have to use your head a lot. When you’re riding, it’s best to not be thinking about anything! (laughs)
CB: Is it true riders have to be much more careful on the street than on track?
JL: Well on the track, there is gravel, there are (safety) traps, and many metres of space and safety area. On the street there are obstacles and other vehicles, so you need to be much more careful, the margin of safety is much less.