Valencia MotoGP: Lorenzo smashes lap record for pole

Jorge Lorenzo demolished his own Valencia MotoGP track record to take his last pole position as a Yamaha rider, beating Marc Marquez by three tenths at the end of a scintillating session.

Lorenzo, who gets his first taste of the 2017 Ducati on testing in Tuesday, was on blistering form from the very beginning of the 15-minute pole shootout, his 2015 record of 1m30.011s falling on his very first flying lap, a 1m29.849s.

It put him some four tenths ahead of nearest rival Marquez, before the Mallorcan improved to a scarcely credible 1m29.613s on his second run - almost half a second up on the record.

That would have been enough for pole, as Marquez broke through the old record to set a 1m29.741s on the Honda, but Lorenzo went out for one final run and managed to find another two tenths.

His final run produced a sensational 1m29.401s, 0.340s faster than Marquez and a full 0.610s than the track record.

Valentino Rossi made it two Yamahas on the front row with a late effort of 1m30.133s to go third, with Maverick Vinales just missing out on a top-three spot on the best of the Suzukis, a tenth-and-half down on his teammate to be.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha) both sealed second row starts, the only other two riders to lap within a second of Lorenzo.

The third row will be made up of Andrea Iannone (Ducati), Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Aleix Espargaro, who suffered a late crash on his Suzuki at Turn 10. Bradley Smith took the final place in the top 10 on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.

Crutchlow tops Q1, then crashes

Cal Crutchlow was the clear pacesetter in the first phase of qualifying, breezing through the opening segment with a time of 1m30.544s, three tenths up on Danilo Petrucci's Pramac Ducati.

The British rider however was visibly riled after being baulked by both Aprilia riders on his first run, which left him in last pace until he set the quickest time of the session next time round.

Having made it through to Q2 however, Crutchlow then crashed out at Turn 10, ending his session prematurely and relegating him to 11th on the grid, ahead of Petrucci.

Aprilia's Alvaro Bautista also suffered a major smash at the end of Q1, the Spaniard qualifying one place behind teammate Stefan Bradl in 18th and one ahead of Aspar Ducati man Eugene Laverty, the session's only other crasher.

Mika Kallio qualified the KTM in 20th place, ahead of Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Honda) and Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Ducati), with a time 1.548s slower than Crutchlow's benchmark in Q1.

Qualifying results:

Cla#RiderBikeTimeGap
1 99  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 1'29.401  
2 93  Marc Marquez  Honda 1'29.741 0.340
3 46  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'30.128 0.727
4 25  Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 1'30.276 0.875
5 4  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'30.338 0.937
6 44  Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 1'30.392 0.991
7 29  Andrea Iannone  Ducati 1'30.420 1.019
8 26  Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'30.574 1.173
9 41  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 1'30.885 1.484
10 38  Bradley Smith  Yamaha 1'30.949 1.548
11 35  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'31.030 1.629
12 9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'31.203 1.802
Q1 cutoff - 1'30.815
13 8  Hector Barbera  Ducati 1'30.894 1.493
14 45  Scott Redding  Ducati 1'31.406 2.005
15 43  Jack Miller  Honda 1'31.686 2.285
16 76  Loris Baz  Ducati 1'31.749 2.348
17 6  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 1'31.813 2.412
18 19  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 1'31.847 2.446
19 50  Eugene Laverty  Ducati 1'31.956 2.555
20 36  Mika Kallio  KTM 1'32.092 2.691
21 53  Tito Rabat  Honda 1'32.181 2.780
22 68  Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 1'32.240 2.839

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Valencia GP
Track Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Marc Marquez
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Qualifying report