Michelin riders Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) were in the thick of the battle for pole position at baking-hot Misano this afternoon. Lorenzo twice led the qualifying session, ...
Michelin riders Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) were in the thick of the battle for pole position at baking-hot Misano this afternoon.
Lorenzo twice led the qualifying session, eventually ending up third fastest, just 0.076 seconds behind his team-mate Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1). De Puniet briefly set the pace in the second half of the outing before taking fourth fastest time to lead the second row. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) also performed well to join de Puniet on row two with sixth best lap of the afternoon. James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) was ninth fastest and will start from the third row. Michelin riders have now featured on the front row at 11 of the 13 GPs so far this year.
"We have had to work hard with our race tyres because the track temperature is really high at about 48 degrees," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "We still have some data to check in order to optimise our riders' race tyre choices, but I think we are working in quite a good direction here. So far it seems that the consistency of our tyres is quite good, the front and rear balance is also quite good but we must keep working. We hope we can have a good race tomorrow, especially with Jorge starting from the front row. Randy was also very fast in qualifying and it's good to see Dani on the second row."
Lorenzo's first front-row start since the Portuguese GP shows he is getting back to the dazzling form that took him to his maiden MotoGP victory at Estoril. "We are much more competitive here, so I am able to ride again with real flow and return to my normal riding style," said a delighted Lorenzo, currently fourth in the World Championship. "My Michelin tyres give me the confidence I need here. The two guys in front of me are going very fast, so it will be difficult to go with them tomorrow, but I will be aiming to score a podium finish."