Jorge Lorenzo continued to dominate proceedings at Phillip Island this weekend as the Yamaha Factory Racing star set a new outright lap record of 1’27.899 in qualifying today, smashing the existing record by 0.766 seconds to claim his third pole position of the year.
Lorenzo set his record time on his penultimate lap in Qualifying Practice 2, beating Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez to the top position on the grid for tomorrow’s race by 0.221 seconds. Joining his teammate on the front row is Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi was third quickest with a personal best time of 1'28.647. All riders on the front row lapped under the existing Circuit Best Lap record of 1’28.665 set by Casey Stoner in 2008. The best CRT rider in qualifying was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, the American rider will start in eleventh place on the grid after setting a time of 1'30.264 in QP2.
The next MotoGP™ session is morning Warm Up scheduled for 1140 local time (GMT +11) tomorrow and the Australian Grand Prix will start at 1600.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“With the new, improved track surface at Phillip Island it was expected that we could see a new Circuit Best Lap record today, but to see it beaten by such a margin was a very pleasing result. We could see after FP3 that tyre temperatures were extremely high, so we offered an extra-hard specification rear slick tyre for the works riders to evaluate in FP4. However, this compound option didn’t work as well on the track surface, hence we will be offering our original hard specification rear slick to riders for the race. Both our extra-soft and soft compound front slicks were used today and the feedback from riders was that both options worked well and I expect both of the front slick choices to be utilised in tomorrow’s race. We anticipated tyre temperatures would be higher this year at Phillip Island, but not to the extreme levels we have seen this weekend. After analysing the used tyres after today`s sessions, we have decided that the maximum safe distance that our rear slick tyres can be run is fourteen laps. Following discussions between Bridgestone, Dorna and the FIM on how to best manage rider safety for the race, it was race direction`s decision to make tomorrow`s race a flag-to-flag contest.”