Movistar Yamaha rider takes top spot ahead of Iannone and Rossi
Jorge Lorenzo sealed his first pole position of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship under brilliant sunny conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with the Spaniard continuing his good run of form at the GP TIM Di San Marino e Della Riviera Di Rimini having won here for the last three years. Starting from second tomorrow will be Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and the final spot on the front row was secured by Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.
Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud.
The sunny and hot conditions today was a big contrast to the past two days and with each lap the qualifying times continued tumble with pole position changing multiple times before Lorenzo set the fastest lap of 1m 33.238s with Iannone just .051s off and Rossi also very close to the pole time with the seven times MotoGP champion .064s off the fastest lap.
Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were both uncharacteristically off the pace somewhat today and they start from 4th and 5th respectively tomorrow while the final spot on the second row went to Andrea Dovizioso and the Ducati Team. Pol Espargaro had a decent qualifying session on the Monster Tech 3 machine with a best time of 1m 33.557s with his brother Aleix close behind on the NGM Forward Racing machine (1m 33.713s).
Bradley Smith will start from 9th tomorrow for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team with a best time of 1m 33.761s with the British rider starting ahead of Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda who had a minor crash at the end of the session while pushing for a fast time. Yonny Hernandez set the 11th fastest lap of 1m 34.283s for the Energy TI Pramac Racing machine with the Columbian putting in a brilliant performance to make it into Q2 while GO&Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista took the 12th and final place in Q2 with a 1m 34.640s.
Mixed fortunes for British riders
The Ducati Team had some misfortune in Q1 with Cal Crutchlow being dealt a cruel blow of a sensor malfunction on his GP14 machine leaving the British rider sitting in the pits and seeing himself being demoted to a 13th starting place while there was also some misfortune for his compatriot Scott Redding who crashed his GO&Fun Honda Gresini machine while on track for the fastest lap of the session. Leon Camier had arguably the best performance of the day on the Drive M7 Aspar machine with the British rider setting the 16th best time and just one place behind seasoned campaigner and teammate Hiroshi Aoyama.
Karel Abraham sill start from 17th on the Cardion AB Motoracing entry with his best time of 1m 35.292s enough to see him start ahead of Paul Bird Motorsport rider Michael Laverty whose best lap of 1m 35.589s sees him start ahead of home rider Alex De Angelis on the NGM Forward Racing machine. Broc Parkes will start from 20th on the second of the Paul Bird Motorsport machine with Hector Barbera close behind on the Avintia Racing entry (1m 36.689s) and one place ahead of teammate Mike Di Meglio in 22nd and Danilo Petrucci will start from the back of the grid for the Octo IodaRacing team.
Lorenzo was very happy with finally securing pole for the first time this year. “Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud,” said the double MotoGP champion who continued, “From the beginning we’ve been competitive, not like in Silverstone where we had some issues. It seems like the Yamaha is working very well as Valentino is also very fast. I pushed hard in the beginning but maybe didn't know the perfect lines for the perfect lap. Then in the second tire I made a very good lap time but just in the first section I lost one or two tenths because I made some mistakes and went wide. From section two I made an unbelievable lap so I’m very proud.
The important thing is tomorrow, it’s the day we get the points so we have to make a good start and try to lead the race and win. Being on pole gives a small advantage at the start so I will try to make profit of it and push away in the first laps. It won’t be easy to go away as Vale has a good pace and the others will be there but I’m going to try,” Lorenzo added.
Iannone was thrilled with equaling his best ever qualifying position of second, speaking afterwards he said, “I am very happy for the front row, it’s important for that race as the start is crucial. I have a good feeling on my bike with the soft tire, the medium doesn’t feel so great. I had a good feeling in the morning and was able to push hard in the afternoon too. I don’t know if we can use the soft tire. I used the soft tire in the test over race distance and the first five or six laps it’s great. After that it gets a bit more of a difficult decision. I’ll be talking to my crew about it. It’s important we try a different setting and explore the medium tires more and I need to improve my feeling with them.”
Rossi thrills home crowd with front row start
Taking a front row start in front of his home fans was very important for Rossi who said “This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tire I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow. I’m so satisfied because it’s the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important for tomorrow, it’s much easier to start at the front.
I’m also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting. It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow,” Rossi added.