Bridgestone: Lorenzo leads under lights in Qatar qualifying

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Bridgestone slick compounds available for qualifying included front: soft & hard; rear: medium & hard (asymmetric). Weather was dry with ambient 25-24°C; track was 27-26°C per Bridgestone measurements

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo laid down a lap of 1’54.714 on his penultimate lap in QP2 to claim pole position for the first race of the 2013 MotoGP™ season at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Lorenzo’s time eclipsed that of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow by 0.202 seconds, the two riders ensuring a Yamaha 1-2 at the front of the grid. Rounding out the front row was Respol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who made a big improvement from yesterday to set a best time that was four-tenths off pole position. Aleix Espargaro impressed again on the Power Electronics Aspar ART machine, the Spaniard the only CRT rider to make into QP2 and finishing twelfth overall.

Track temperatures were cooler today with a peak of 27°C and windy conditions coated the circuit in more dust, keeping grip levels low and as a result tyre choice was dictated by the need to have the best possible edge grip from the rear tyre and braking stability. All of the riders in the QP2 set their best times on the combination of the softer rear and harder front slick and this option could feature in tomorrow’s race.

The twenty-four MotoGP™ riders have one final session tomorrow – Warm Up at 1800 local time (GMT +3) – to hone their setup and work out their tyre strategy before the twenty-two lap race commences at 2200.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “We had similar track conditions to yesterday with a lot of sand on the circuit and so the combination of the harder front and softer rear slick was once again widely used for today’s qualifying sessions. Sand on the track not only reduces grip, it also increases abrasion so I am pleased with the performance of both specification of our rear slick tyres so far this weekend. Also, with the top seven riders setting a qualifying time within one second of each other, the signs are promising for an exciting contest tomorrow.”

Bridgestone

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags aoki, bridgestone, ducati, honda, lorenzo, motogp, qatar, yamaha