Jorge Lorenzo has insisted that third place remains the absolute maximum he expects from the Qatar Grand Prix despite getting up to second in Friday practice. The Yamaha rider is still recovering from a hand injury sustained during winter training, and has always maintained that he will happy to leave Losail with a few points. But that didn't stop him taking second behind Casey Stoner – and ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi – in opening practice. Nevertheless Lorenzo was adamant that his hand is not sufficiently healed to allow him to give his maximum in the race – and that Stoner might be too quick even if he was fit.
"I always have high confidence in myself and I want to be on the top," Lorenzo said. "Sometimes you can do it, and sometimes, like now, it's quite difficult to be on top because Casey is so, so fast here in Qatar, and Vale is quick. We'll see what happens. If we can fight with them, we will try. If not, maybe we can get third position or fourth.
"I got tired on the bike, because the hand is not perfect and also my physical condition is not perfect. But our goal is not to win – it's to just finish the race."
Lorenzo had a crash at the end of the session, just after going second quickest, but was unhurt and also mystified about the cause.
"I don't know exactly what happened," he said. "There are two possibilities: one that I turned the bike more than the lap before or, two, that I touched the white line on the inside.
"It wasn't a big crash, only sliding on the ground. I put my hands high and I was sliding so I was lucky."