Yamaha Racing press release
Lorenzo Stays Sharp to Secure Front Row Start at Phillip Island
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo kept the pressure on today in qualifying at Phillip Island, taking second on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Australia. The Yamaha Factory rider came out fighting at the beginning of the qualifying session, immediately the fastest man on track, a position he held for well over half the session. The Mallorcan conceded pole to rival Casey Stoner as the session drew to a close but prepares for tomorrow’s race in confident mood with a fast consistent race pace.
Ben Spies crashed out on his third qualifying lap in dramatic fashion, low siding at over 250km/hr and sliding off into the gravel. After a check with the medical centre the Texan was back on his second bike with heavily bruised ribs and body, venturing out on track to score a third row start with seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Position 2nd - Time 1.30.448 - Laps 24
“We did a very good job today. We tried many things and I believe we have the right set up for tomorrow. I have to thank my team who worked hard to make sure I have the best possible bike to fight with. The race will be very tough, it will be very important to be consistent with a good race pace. I will try to win, I know it will be very difficult here with Casey but I will try!”
Position 7th - Time 1.30.835 - Laps 20
“I got a little bit off line in qualifying this afternoon and hit a big bump, losing the front. It’s unfortunate as we were trying a different bike set up which was looking pretty good. It happened on the third lap, according to the data I came off at 270km/hr so I went through the gravel trap pretty quick! My knees, ribs and elbows are all pretty banged up but that’s normal, that’s how it is. The bike is working well so we need a good start; we’re in a good position on the grid for it so we’ll see what happens.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A good qualifying for us, Jorge was more than half a second quicker than this morning’s final practice so we are quite pleased. Again another strange session, some parts of the track lost some grip which seemed to affect everybody. We haven’t decided on tyres for tomorrow yet but the bike feels good for him and we are looking forward to the race. It’s going to be difficult to stop Casey but we’ll do our best.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“The race is not going to be easy tomorrow. Jorge is starting from the first row which is important, I’m sure he won’t give up until the end and he will have to put all his efforts in for the whole 27 laps. Despite a bad crash Ben managed to qualify in seventh. This wasn’t so bad considering, as I didn’t expect that result. He’s very sore all over but he still pushed hard and did all he could. Tomorrow will be tough and painful for him but we know him and we know he will give 100%.”