Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first pole position since the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix at Misano on Saturday. Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first pole position since the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix at Misano on Saturday. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Lorenzo takes first pole of season

Written by  on Saturday, 13 September 2014 13:23

The quickfire MotoGP™ Q2 session saw Jorge Lorenzo take pole at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on Saturday, with Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi also securing front row slots.

At a track where he has a phenomenal record – with three wins in his last three visits – Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) sped around the Misano layout with a 1:33.238 lap time to grab his first pole since Motegi 2013.

“It seems that Yamaha is working well here as Valentino is going fast too,” Lorenzo said. “I pushed the limit like always. I pushed very hard in the first two laps but I didn’t have the perfect lines. In the second run I pushed even harder and I ran wide in the first sector. In the last three sectors I think I made almost a perfect lap. It was very close but I made pole for the first time in almost a year.

“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 me 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 get away as Vale has a good pace and the others will be there but I’m going to try.”

Just 0.051s behind Lorenzo, Iannone (Pramac Racing) matched his best ever MotoGP™ qualifying result, despite a fall on Friday which saw him take a heavy ankle knock.

This did not affect the Italian rider when conditions improved, able to lead the way in FP3. Ducati had held a private three day test at Misano prior to Silverstone, the data collected there helping all the Ducati riders recover from the lost track time on Friday.

Lorenzo aided Iannone’s qualifying efforts slightly, giving a slipstream to the Italian and his teammate Yonny Hernandez in Q2. This is now the fourth occasion in a row that a Ducati has started from second on the grid, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) having taken the three previous seconds.

“I am very happy for the front row, it’s important for that race as the start is crucial,” Iannone said. “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.”

Completing the front row at his home track, nine-time World Champion Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualified in third – his best grid result since he was also third in Australia last season.

“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,” Rossi explained. “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.”

Meanwhile, for the first time this season World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) qualified off the front row, lapping 0.122s down on Lorenzo’s pole time in fourth place.

On the other side of the Repsol Honda garage Dani Pedrosa slotted his RC213V into fifth spot on the grid, with a time just 0.058s slower than that of Marquez.

A further 0.021s margin behind Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the second row.

The third row of the grid for Sunday’s round 13 contest will comprise brothers Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Englishman Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3).

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) heads row four in 10th following a crash in the session, which he escaped unharmed. The German had made it through from Q1 along with Hernandez, who qualified 11th, just in front of Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).

In Moto2™ QP at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Mika Kallio took pole, with Tito Rabat and Tom Luthi also on the front row.

Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) produced a 1:38.043 best time around the 4.226km Misano track to secure his third pole position start of the year.

Trailing him by just 0.067s his teammate and the Moto2™ World Championship leader Rabat made it a Marc VDS Racing Team one-two on the grid for Sunday’s round 13 race.

Completing the front row in third place Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) lapped just four thousandths of a second behind Rabat.

Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) will line up on row two.

In the Moto3™ QP on Saturday afternoon Jack Miller took pole, with Niklas Ajo and Alex Rins set to join him on the front row.

Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took a seventh pole of the season with a 1:42.974 lap time, which put him just 0.004s ahead of his nearest rival Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo).

Miller aims to strike back in the title fight this weekend having been off the podium at the last two rounds and the pole position start will give him added confidence ahead of Sunday’s race.

Behind Miller and Ajo on the front row is Silverstone race winner Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who was just 0.038s adrift of Miller.

--From motogp.com

MotoGP Qualifying Results (courtesy Repsol Honda)

Pos.

Rider

Num.

Nation

Team

Constructor

Time/Gap

1

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'33.238

2

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'33.289

3

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'33.302

4

Marc Marquez

93

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'33.360

5

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'33.418

6

Andrea Dovizioso

4

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'33.439

7

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'33.557

8

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'33.713

9

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'33.761

10

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'33.995

11

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'34.283

12

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'34.640

13

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'34.495

14

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'34.919

15

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'34.966

16

Leon Camier

2

GBR

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'35.275

17

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'35.292

18

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

1'35.589

19

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'35.679

20

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

1'36.317

21

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'36.689

22

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'42.497

23

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

1'37.417

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John Hopkins

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