Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of San Marino side by side on the front row after an intense qualifying battle this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’.
As usual Lorenzo was the first rider away onto the track and immediately set the pace with a 1’33.824, the fastest lap of the weekend at the time.
With just over six minutes remaining he returned to the track and with his seventh lap brought his time down to a 1’33.428 to secure second place on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Teammate Rossi was quick to follow Lorenzo out at the beginning of the session but was forced to sit up in the opening lap due to heavy traffic, the Italian having to wait until there were just eight minutes remaining to find suitably clear track to climb from 12th to an impressive third position with a 1’34.025.
He then returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre and was back on track with just over five minutes remaining. The nine-time world champion then delivered a scorching 1’33.659 with two minutes left on the clock to take provisional second place, only to be bettered by teammate Lorenzo soon after and moving to third.
Another step on his final flying lap saw the lap time drop even further to a 1’33.573, securing third place and keeping him on the front row for the second time this season.
Jorge Lorenzo (Position 2nd - Time 1.33.428 - Laps 8): “I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn’t be faster and I couldn't improve the bike so much. We improved a little but not enough to be closer to Marc. He made an amazing lap.
We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration, that is why the lap time is not great. I will try to make a good start tomorrow and maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race.”
Valentino Rossi (Position 3rd - Time 1.33.573 - Laps 9): “We are satisfied with yesterday and today because we worked very well during the practice, I was always strong and we improved the setting step by step. This afternoon my bike was fantastic; it had a great setting with a lot of grip. With the second tyre I was alone with no traffic and I pushed very much from the first corner with a great feeling with the bike and I improved my lap time a lot.
I’m happy because it's very important to start on the front row tomorrow as Marc and Dani are very fast and also Lorenzo is very strong and very fast. Tomorrow I want to arrive on the podium so starting with them from the beginning is important to fight for it. I want a great race and I want to be on the podium!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Manager: “The second day is done in Misano and we qualified second on the front row, which is good for the race. Of course we would have liked to have gone a bit faster; we are still trying to find some solutions for some extra grip. Overall, we are on the front row, which is what matters but for tomorrow’s race we would like to improve a little bit.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Director: “A really good qualifying session, having both riders on the front row is very important, especially here where it is difficult to overtake. For me we have done a really good job so far.
We came here with important new items for the bikes and were able to make good use of them, although we still have some adapting to do. Tomorrow is going to be a really good race, it's going to be a tough one but I think we are ready. Looking at the rhythm both riders have we should be confident.”
Yamaha Factory Racing