Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo secured a perfect pole in front of the Italian crowd this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow‘s 'Grand Prix di San Marino.
Misano Adriatico (Italy) - Having broken his previous best lap in this morning's free practice session, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo kept the pressure on in qualifying this afternoon, taking pole at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Teammate Valentino Rossi also showed a great pace in the 15-minute shoot-out and qualified in third position on the first row.
Lorenzo made his trademark early exit from the pits as the 15-minute session began and immediately dropped a first flying lap of 1‘32.357s. On a two-stop strategy, he quickly returned to his pit box with ten minutes remaining for a tyre-change and headed back out less than a minute later.
Back on track, he was ready to put the hammer down and bettered his earlier time, clocking a 1‘32.146s, another new circuit best lap record, and extended his lead to 0.443s from his closest rival.
All these guys want to eat me because I‘m the small fish, but I will try to escape, that‘s the target!
With a little more than four minutes remaining, he came in for his second stop. He returned to the track with over three minutes remaining and, though he was unable to further improve on his best lap, his pole position time remained unchallenged, giving him his third pole of the season by 0.106s.
Though teammate Rossi had revealed his special helmet, that symbolizes how he is being chased by his rivals, he was the last rider to exit pit lane at the start of the Q2 session.
The Doctor started qualifying by setting a low ’33 with a first flying lap of 1‘33.190 to take provisional fourth. Hot laps by rivals dropped him to ninth, but the Italian had another two laps and set a 1‘32.952, moving him up to fifth before going in to the pits with more than six minutes on the clock.
Having been pushed back to seventh, Rossi started his second stint with two and a half minutes of the session remaining. He gave his all and made the crowd go wild when he posted a hot lap of 1‘32.358 for third on tomorrow‘s grid, 0.212s off pole.
Jorge Lorenzo: "Rather than pole position, it‘s more important to always be first or second; I finished first in all sessions, apart from the first practice, under all kinds of conditions, with new and old tyres. I think we did a good job with the bike during the whole weekend and we have a good setting. We just need to change the last details for tomorrow. It‘s going to be interesting to see how the rear tyre drops as this new tarmac is more abrasive. It will be difficult to keep up the same pace during the whole race, but almost everyone will have the same problems and we are prepared to do a very good race."
Valentino Rossi: "It was difficult at the end of the session, because there was a lot of traffic, I was able to find the right moment to do a good lap. The setting and also my pace improved today and for the qualifying the bike was not so bad. I still have some problems, especially in section three, which we have to improve. Starting from the front row is very important for tomorrow‘s race, because Jorge is very strong and the guy with the better pace. Marc is always able to go with him, so the first lap will be very important. Because this is my home race, everybody wants to beat me, so the big shark on my helmet represents Jorge, Marc, the Ducatis. All these guys want to eat me because I‘m the small fish, but I will try to escape, that‘s the target!"
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director: "It was a strong qualifying session today and we are very pleased with both Jorge and Vale's performance. Jorge rode very good laps to take his third pole position of the year and his pace is really promising throughout the weekend. Vale was equally impressive. Despite traffic, he did really well to secure third, though there is still some work to do. Our set up and package is already very competitive, but we will continue to work in order to make some further steps overnight. I feel positive that we will be ready for tomorrow‘s warm up and have both riders very much in contention during the race."