Pole position the best birthday present for Lorenzo at Jerez

Spanish riders lockout the front row in drama filled qualifying session

Birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo romped to pole position for the Yamaha Factory team at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit during a drama-filled 15 minute qualifying session that saw Repsol Honda Pairing Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finish in second and third places respectively despite a fall from Pedrosa in the final minutes of the session. Celebrating his 26th birthday today, Lorenzo was untouchable at the end setting a fastest time of 1m 38.673s to that of Pedrosa’s 1m 38.920s and Marquez’s best of 1m 38.971s.

I’m happy with this pole position, it’s a good present for my birthday!

Jorge Lorenzo

The change in temperature from the earlier sessions today to that of the final qualifying session made for tricky riding conditions that caught a lot of riders out with Marquez falling during Free Practice 4, as did Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone. Then in Qualifying 2 Valentino Rossi went down while pushing his Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 to the limit with the bike ending up worse than the rider and Pedrosa also fell while attempting to top Lorenzo’s best time.

When the checkered flag fell at the end of qualifying the rider in fourth place was Crutchlow setting his best lap of 1m 39.262s to start tomorrow’s Gran Premio bwin De España ahead of Rossi (1m 39.300s) while Alvaro Bautista secured the last place on the second row with a best lap of 1m 39.509s for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini team. Nicky Hayden will start from 7th place tomorrow for the Ducati Team setting a best lap of 1m 39.654s with Stefan Bradl in 8th for the LCR Honda team (1m 39.847s) and rounding out the third row is Andrea Dovizioso and the Ducati Team with a 1m 39.848s lap.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Hector Barbera was the best CRT rider today on the Avintia Blusens machine setting a best lap of 1m 39.980s and despite his heavy fall earlier today, Iannone set the 11th best time with a best time of 1m 40.087s and Bradley Smith in 12th position for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team with a lap time of 1m 40.356s. Power Electronics Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro was unlucky not to qualify for the final session and starts from 13th place tomorrow on a best lap of 1m 40.085s with Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro ending up in 14th place on the timing sheets with a fastest lap of 1m 40.182s.

Randy De Puniet will start from 15th place on board the Power Electronics Aspar machine with lap time of 1m 40.466s while Avintia Blusens rider Hiroshi Aoyama set the 16th best time of 1m 40.654s with Danilo Petrucci next along for the Came IodaRacing Project with a best lap of 1m 40.852s. Bryan Staring ended up in 18th place today on the GO&Fun Honda Gresini CRT machine (1m 41.324s) while Claudio Corti (NGM Forward Racing), finished one place below with a best lap time of 1m 41.513s and his teammate Colin Edwards starting alongside after the American rider crashed out of the qualifying session and had to settle for a best time of 1m 41.536s.

Yonny Hernandez also had a fall today and starts from 21st place for the Paul Bird Motorsport and his best time of 1m 41.779s was good enough to see him start ahead of teammate Michael Laverty with his best of 1m 41.935s. Lukas Pesek (1m 43.220s) starts from 23rd for the Came IodaRacing team. Karel Abraham didn’t take part today as he struggles with his healing collarbone that he broke during qualifying for the previous round in Austin, Texas.

Lorenzo was delighted with sealing pole position on his birthday and also to have the final corner at the iconic Spanish circuit. He said, “I’m happy with this pole position, it’s a good present for my birthday! I knew the track was not perfect, it’s very warm and there were a lot of crashes in Moto2 and the previous qualifying. I just tried to make the perfect lap, unfortunately I couldn’t; I made a mistake in two braking zones and went wide and lost some tenths. Anyway, in the other corners I was really quick and at the limit so it was enough to make it.

It’s going to be tough tomorrow, normally the lap time you make for qualifying you can't repeat in another time because the tire drops. We hope to improve the bike a little bit to get more comfortable with pace. Anyway I think we can fight for the win or at least for the podium tomorrow,” Lorenzo added.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Despite falling nearing the end of the session Pedrosa was content with his performance today saying, “The session went well, but at the end I had a crash in turn eight, as I maybe pushed a little too hard and lost the front. We've ridden well all weekend and the bike is working great, so we are hoping that tomorrow we can continue in the same way. Pace is the most important thing and I hope to get a good start and have a strong race.”

Securing a third place start was very welcomed by Marquez who said, “I'm pretty happy, because the session went better than I expected. We knew it would be a tough and difficult weekend, but I think we had a very good qualifying session and starting from the front row is very important. I know that Dani and Lorenzo are one step ahead at the moment, but I will still try to give one-hundred percent and ride my own race. It will be hard, hot, and very demanding on the tyres, but we will try to get a good result in front of the home fans.”

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Bradley Smith , Colin Edwards , Hector Barbera , Alvaro Bautista , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Lukas Pesek , Michael Laverty , Claudio Corti , Cal Crutchlow , Michele Pirro , Stefan Bradl , Hiroshi Aoyama , Aleix Espargaro , Paul Bird , Dani Pedrosa , Karel Abraham , Marc Marquez , Yonny Hernandez , Danilo Petrucci , Andrea Iannone , Bryan Staring
Teams Forward Racing , Pramac Racing , Yamaha Factory Racing , Ducati Team , Repsol Honda Team , Tech 3
Article type Qualifying report
Tags featured, hatch, honda, jerez, lorenzo, marquez, pedrosa, repsol, yamaha