Jorge Lorenzo predicts 2016 MotoGP times will be half-second slower

MotoGP laptimes will be "half a second slower" at the start of the 2016 season due to the new control electronics, world champion Jorge Lorenzo expects

Jorge Lorenzo predicts 2016 MotoGP times will be half-second slower

The new Magneti Marelli ECU, being introduced at the same time as tyre supplier Michelin's return, was described as "a step backwards" by leading riders during the major post-season test at Valencia.

The week's fastest time was set by Honda's Marc Marquez, the 1m31.060s more than one second off Lorenzo's 1m30.011s lap to take pole for the Valencia race four days earlier.

The Yamaha rider does not expect that margin to disappear completely by the time the new season starts in Qatar in March.

"By now it's clear that electronics management is less sophisticated compared to what we have used," he told Motosprint.

"I expect laptimes to be half a second slower at the beginning of the season."

Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa admitted they were struggling with the new electronics during Honda's final test of 2015, and Lorenzo agrees that there is more work to be done.

"To be honest, the first day I tried the bike with the new electronics, at Valencia, I got scared: the software was not up to scratch practically on any sector of the track," he said.

"The rear wheel tended to lock for something that was happening in the engine, and sometimes traction control did not seem to come into action.

"The electronics engineer tried to calm me by explaining that it was just the first day, that all the system needed to be finetuned and that on the second day the engine would have already performed at least at 70 per cent of the level of the bike during the season.

"At the start of the second day it wasn't at 70 per cent, it was at 50 per cent, but we kept on working and we got to 70 per cent."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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