Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo first ever premier-class pole position at the Italian circuit.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo emphatically displayed his intent to win a fourth consecutive San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix by securing his first pole position of the season at Misano today, and consequently his first ever premier-class pole position at the Italian circuit.
After showing impressive pace in the Free Practice 4 session, Lorenzo extracted even more performance from his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine in Qualifying Practice 2 to post a 1’33.238 on his final lap to finish 0.051 seconds ahead of Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was the second best qualifier. On the other Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machine, Valentino Rossi rounded out the podium in third place with a best lap time of 1’33.302 to finish just 0.013 seconds behind Iannone.
Today’s QP2 session was fiercely competitive with the riders on the first two rows of the grid ultimately being separated by less than two-tenths of a second. All riders on the front row used the medium compound front slick to set their best lap time during the time attack in QP2, but whereas Lorenzo and Rossi used the medium compound rear slick, Iannone took advantage of the soft compound rear slick available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Misano to clock his quickest time.
Yesterday’s cool and wet weather gave way to dry and warm conditions today, with a peak track temperature of 34°C recorded at the end of QP2. With this morning’s FP1 session presenting the first dry track time, the majority of riders initially used the soft compound front slick paired with their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders, to get a feel for the Misano tarmac.
Although the Ducati and Open-class riders experimented with their two rear slick compound options during the two Free Practice sessions, the Factory and Yamaha riders stuck to using just their softer option, medium compound rear slick for the entire day, with the hard compound rear slick remaining untested. For the front tyres, the majority of riders preferred the medium compound front slick in today’s sessions, although all three front slick options; the soft, medium and hard compound front slick were utilised and all of these options could feature in tomorrow’s race.
Even warmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix which starts at 1400 local time (GMT +2). The twenty-minute morning Warm Up session starts at 0940 and will be an important session as riders look to use every second of dry track time before deciding on their race tyre choice.
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department: “After the poor weather conditions yesterday, today was a very busy day for the teams, riders and our engineers as there were just two sessions available to work on bike setup and slick tyre choice before the qualifying sessions.
Despite this the riders got to evaluate a few different tyre options, and particularly for the front slick a lot of testing was done to see what worked best on this circuit which demands a lot of cornering and braking stability.
I am pleased with the performance of our tyres today, the lap times were very quick and the first two rows of the grid for tomorrow’s race were separated by just two-tenths of a second and our tyre allocation for this weekend is working well for all the manufacturers. Conditions will be even warmer tomorrow, so the morning Warm Up session will also be important for the riders to help them decide what tyre combination to use for the race.”