Late push from Lorenzo sets new qualifying record at Sepang

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set a new Fastest Lap record of 2’00.334 on his last qualifying lap at Sepang International Circuit to claim his seventh pole position of the season.

Lorenzo’s record lap was enough to depose Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa to second on the grid for tomorrow’s race by 0.194 seconds, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizoso qualified third and 0.233 seconds off Lorenzo’s time.

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

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

The top CRT qualifier in Malaysia was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who qualified in twelfth place with a time of 2’02.842.

Track conditions were similar to yesterday, with track temperatures around 40°C and less than ideal grip levels due to heavy rain overnight and between today’s sessions.

Teams assessed both options of front and rear tyre today, with the combination of the softer rear and harder front slick ultimately being the most widely used for qualifying.

If similar weather conditions are experienced tomorrow the softer rear slick will be the popular race tyre choice, with front tyre choice coming down to which riders prefer the greater braking stability of the harder option versus the advantage in edge grip offered by the softer front slick.

Morning warm up for the Malaysian Grand Prix starts at 1140 local time (GMT +8) tomorrow with the twenty-lap main event commencing at 1600.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Grip levels didn’t seem to improve much today, probably because of the earlier rain and so every rider preferred the softer rear slick for FP3 and Qualifying as good rear drive is important to setting a fast lap time at this circuit.

Unless temperatures increase significantly tomorrow, the softer rear slick will be the most popular option for the race.

Front tyre choice among the riders is trending towards the harder option, though with the track not providing high levels of grip, some riders may still select the softer front slick for better feel from the edge of the tyre in corner entry.”

Source: Bridgestone Motorsport

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Qualifying report
Tags bridgestone, honda, lorenzo, motogp, pedrosa, sepang, yamaha