Yamaha US GP Qaulifying Report

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Lorenzo Untouchable with Perfect Pole in Laguna


World Champion Jorge Lorenzo made a sensational comeback from a high speed crash this morning to utterly dominate qualifying and take pole position for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of U.S.A, his first of the 2011 season. The high side crash at the end of the morning’s practice left some wondering if the Yamaha Factory rider would make it through the whole qualifying session. Fears proved to be unfounded as the Mallorcan took to the track like a man possessed, breaking under the 1.22 mark on his first flying lap. A string of consistent laps saw him keep the top spot for the entire session barring a brief challenge by his team mate Ben Spies. Lorenzo reclaimed pole quickly and kept it to the end of the session, breaking the lap record in the process. Spies spent the early part of the session refining his set up, then having settled into a consistent pace put in a blistering lap to take provisional pole position from his team mate with a 1’21.578. Lorenzo was quick to take first position back but Spies was still threatening to secure a front row start until a mistake on the brakes in turn three ended his qualifying session. As a result he will start from the second row of the grid tomorrow in fourth position, just 0.376 seconds from pole.

Pole winner Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Pole winner Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha Motor Racing

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 1st - Time 1.21.202 - Laps 35

“This pole position was unexpected for us after this morning, but thankfully I feel more pain walking than I do riding the bike. Of course I’m not in perfect condition on the bike and for sure I have to put more pressure on my arms and will get more tired. I think I was very lucky this morning that I had no big injuries. I think this pole position is for us an impressive result.” Jorge Lorenzo

Ben Spies

Position 4th - Time 1.21.578 - Laps 25

“It wasn’t a bad qualifying session, we tried a couple of things and the race set up is not so bad. We got in qualifying mode and got some pretty good laps in. I made a mistake and locked the front up on the brakes going in to turn three trying super hard to get on the front row. The Yamaha boss said to me last night that he wanted me on the front row so I was doing everything I could. Joking aside I was trying everything and just made a small mistake. I banged my hand up quite a bit but it will be fine and ready for the race tomorrow. I think we’ll find a couple of things with the bike in the morning and hopefully it’ll be a good day.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“I’m a very happy team manager today! We had an unbelievable qualifying session. It’s the first one this year! After the crash nobody really thought about having pole but just seeing how we are for tomorrow’s race. His second lap was a 21.9, I thank that was a thank you to his mechanics because he used the bike that he crashed with this morning. It was pretty smashed up after the crash so they worked hard to make it ready. I think the consistent lap times show he is ready to rock and roll tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“Jorge has an impressive pace, he got a really good pole position; he really has all he needs to be the front guy tomorrow. Unfortunately Ben crashed during his last lap. We improved the bike a lot from yesterday in set up and I think we could have got the first row. Second row is ok, just a three tenth gap which is not so bad, I think tomorrow he can be there too. We are going to check the data according to Ben’s comments and decide which rear tyre to use tomorrow.”

by: Yamaha

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Ben Spies , Jorge Lorenzo
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Tags laguna seca, lorenzo, spies, yamaha