Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo took second place on the grid this afternoon in a dramatic duel for pole position ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit. As usual Lorenzo was first out of the pit lane and onto the track as the 15-minute qualifying heat began. His first lap was a scorching 2’01.497 lap, smashing the lap record of the circuit.
With half the session now gone Lorenzo returned to the pits for a quick change of rubber and was back out on the track with just under six minutes of track time remaining.
He kept the pace up, dipping even further under the old lap record with a 2’00.819 second lap. Unfortunately it was not quite enough to secure pole, as his rival Marquez responded again, just beating him to the top spot by 0.128 seconds.
After making a strong start on Friday in free practice and confident of making another step today, Valentino Rossi took sixth place on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. Rossi was the second rider out as the session started, tailing teammate Lorenzo onto the circuit.
His first set of rubber delivered a best time of 2’02.763 before returning to the pits for a new rear. Back out again just behind Lorenzo, the nine-time world champion was able to make a big step in time, getting down to a 2’02.109 lap to secure sixth on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo - (Position: 2nd - Time: 2.00.819 - Laps: 7): “It’s not fantastic because we didn't make pole position. I was surprised about the improvement from the pace lap to the qualifying lap, it was a big jump, almost one second and a half. When I saw my lap time on my bike I thought I made pole position but when I saw the classification I saw P2 and was disappointed as I put all my effort into the lap, but it wasn't enough. Race pace is good but we have to see where the others are tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi - (Position: 6th - Time: 2.02.109 - Laps: 7): “I’m not so happy with the distance from Lorenzo and Marquez, they did a fantastic job but I’m happy about the second row. It’s very important and better than the third row. My lap time is quite fast but especially I’m quite satisfied with today because we improved the setting of the bike this afternoon and I’m a lot more constant with pace. I can stay with a good pace which is important for tomorrow. Now we have to try to make another step, I have two or three corners where I’m not so strong and I’m suffering on some bumps. Tomorrow we will try to improve.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager): “A very exciting qualifying. P2 is fantastic, the lap times were unbelievably fast and I think the race will be very tight between Jorge and Marc. Our pace is good and the bike is good so we are ready for the race.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “The second day is very positive. We are starting the race from the first and second row which is a really good starting point. We have the speed and also the pace. For sure tomorrow is going to be a hard race but we will be protagonists. We will try to improve the settings during the warm up, we are satisfied so far and looking forward to the race.”