Bridgestone press release
Lorenzo claims pole for Qatar season opener
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo will start on pole at the first race of the 2012 MotoGP™ season after the Spaniard continued the strong form he showed in Free Practice to post a benchmark qualifying lap time of 1:54.634.
Lorenzo traded places at the top of the timesheets with Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner for most of the qualifying session, with the reigning champion ultimately falling short of his rival with a best time of 1:54.855 to finish in second place. Rounding out the top three was the ever-impressive Monster Tech3 Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow, the Brit’s time of 1:55.022 good enough to land him his first ever front-row start in MotoGP™.
In the battle of the CRT riders NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards took the honours with the Texan’s quickest lap of 1:57.644 placing him 13th overall.
For the first half of qualifying most riders ran the harder rear tyre option until twenty minutes remaining in the session at which point the riders switched en masse to the softer asymmetric rear tyre in pursuit of a quick lap time. Track temperatures for qualifying stayed relatively warm at around 29°C though due to the wind, track conditions weren’t at their best for qualifying.
The stage is now set for the first race of the season with the action set to start at 2200 local time (GMT+3).
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was quite unusual as despite the warm track temperatures, conditions didn’t improve much from yesterday. Nevertheless it was an exciting qualifying session and I would like to congratulate all the riders on their performance in the first qualifying practice of the year and in particular, Jorge Lorenzo and the Yamaha Factory Racing team for taking pole position.
“Once again the extra durability and stability offered by the extra-hard front tyre made it the popular choice for riders and I expect most riders to use this option for tomorrow’s race. Both the softer and harder rear options were used throughout qualifying, so we may see some different strategies for the race with the rear tyre. With our 2012 specification tyres working very well here in Qatar I am confident that we will have a good race tomorrow to commence the 2012 MotoGP™ season.”