Mat Oxley: Losing Focus in MotoGP
All racers need a focus and when they lose that focus, things can start to go wrong. After his first crash of the year at Catalunya, Jorge Lorenzo revealed that one of his focuses this year had been to do the whole season without crashing. An admirable goal, but possibly distracting from the only goal that matters, winning the world title? He crashed again at the next race at Assen and then again on Friday in Germany.
Lorenzo certainly seemed to have lost his normal focus during Friday practice at the Sachsenring. Instead of his usual manner of chipping away at things, always focusing on Sunday, he was a man on a mission, like he had something to prove, to show the world that he really is a superman. He was fastest on Friday morning and then roared out of the pits on Friday afternoon, once again with the hammer down.
His out-lap was nine seconds faster than anyone else’s and he was into the 1m 22s on his second lap, when most riders were at least two seconds slower. His last full lap kept him at the top of the times for most of the session and the first half of his fateful final lap was only 0.07 seconds slower than the fastest of the session. This was surely a momentary lapse of reason from the metronomic machine.
Cal Crutchlow certainly thought so. “Jorge did a great job at Assen – I think he came here with his confidence too high,” he said.
Lorenzo’s exit apparently had a dramatic effect on Dani Pedrosa. There is no doubt that Pedrosa always considered Lorenzo his main title rival, so when the reigning champ flew home to Barcelona on Friday, this time with no hope of returning, Pedrosa’s focus changed entirely. Instead of focusing all his energies on outfoxing Lorenzo and defeating him in the race, now he had to focus on trying to take advantage of his absence. With Lorenzo out of the way, Pedrosa also had a momentary lapse of reason and suffered a massive highside as a result.