The difference between a successful race weekend and going home with empty hands is often made before the bikes have even turned a wheel on the track. “Base setup,” that is the elusive goal that teams spend so long chasing during testing and practice.
A good base setup will give you two full days to try to go faster, knowing that the worst case scenario is that your bike is only very good, rather than perfect.
If the bike is competitive from the start, you can focus on winning, rather than trying to find something that works, and gambling on changes that you are not certain will be effective.
This, then, is the dilemma facing Jorge Lorenzo’s rivals at Barcelona. Lorenzo has that base setup that makes him the man to beat from Friday morning.