Lorenzo: Tyre choice important
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo expects tyre choice to be critical as the MotoGP World Championship heads to Estoril this weekend.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo claimed his maiden MotoGP win at the popular seaside circuit back in 2008, and went on to follow that up with further successes in 2009 and on the way to his 2010 title.
His second place finish in last year's edition was therefore his worst result at Estoril, but the Spaniard remains a big fan of the circuit and will look to continue his strong start to the season.
Yamaha's M1 looks to be far more of a match for the Repsol Hondas than it was during 2011, and Lorenzo leads the standings after winning in Qatar and finishing second in Spain last weekend.
Lorenzo was disappointed after he had to give up first place to Casey Stoner in Jerez, blaming the result on his decision to run on a softer front tyre which meant he did not have the grip to respond when his Honda rival came on strong late in the race.
And he expects the decision over what compound of Bridgestone tyres to run to again be crucial with himself, Dani Pedrosa and Stoner, who has won at every track on the calendar apart from Estoril, set to battle for the win.
Lorenzo said: "We go to Estoril now, a track which has seen very good results for me. I have had some great victories here, and really enjoy the racing.
"I think we can be very strong in the race and as in Jerez I think the right tyres will be very important.
"We are leading the Championship but the competition is very tough so we must give everything to try and stay in front.
"We also will test on Monday which will be important to continue to make the 1000cc M1 even better."
While Lorenzo has made an excellent start to 2012, his team-mate Ben Spies has endured a miserable time.
The American could only manage 11th-place finishes in Qatar and Spain, and was run close by the relatively low-tech CRT Aspar Aprilia of Randy de Puniet.
Spies described the latter result as "pathetic" and knows he needs to respond at a track where he has yet to claim a points finish.
"It's been a pretty rough start to the season so far, we're going to Estoril determined to get our championship back on track and get back up there," he said.
"I've been pretty unlucky in Portugal so it's time to change that and deliver a good result. We will work hard from the first session to find a good set up that works and see what we can do on Sunday."