Lorenzo's 64th career pole taken at Misano
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo staked his claim on teammate Valentino Rossi’s turf, setting another record-breaking pole position at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. While Rossi set the tone in FP4 (much to the delight of the hordes in yellow), Lorenzo came out in Q2 and was the first to drop down into the 1:31s to earn his 64th pole position of his career.
"You always have the impression that the last pole position is the best of your life but I really think that this one is," Lorenzo said. "Maybe the second one is also a great lap time, but because I already had that I wanted to risk a bit more to improve the lap time and I risked a bit more in the braking and opened the throttle a bit more, especially in the slow corners where there is less chance of injury. So I'm really happy about the pole position. In FP4 my rear tyre was a bit less grippy but we were able to make some improvements and in qualifying, with less petrol, finally we were able to do this lap time. Little by little we've improved the bike in a lot of corners, practice-by-practice, and I think we have a clear idea of what tires we're going to use. It depends on the bike and the rider. Race pace I think we're on 33.0 and high 32s, and that could be winning pace."
Rossi had to really work for his P2 spot. The Italian’s fast time in the second run of the session was cancelled by Race Direction as Rossi had exceeded the track limits. But the veteran pulled another fast lap out of his hat, moving within .348 of a second of Lorenzo to take the second spot on the grid for tomorrow’s San Marino Grand Prix.
Joining the Movistar Yamaha duo on the front row was British Grand Prix winner – Maverick Vinales. The Team Suzuki Ecstar rider has carried his momentum from his first career win at Silverstone to Misano and is comfortable on the bike even in the hotter conditions.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was unable to improve his time in the second part of the session and had to settle for fourth. Joining the series-points leader on the second row was Factory Ducati’s Michele Pirro – who is filling in for the injured Andrea Iannone – and Andrea Dovizioso.
In seventh was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow followed by Marquez’ teammate Dani Pedrosa. Brothers Aliex Espargaro on the Team Suzuki Ecstar machine and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro completed the top 10.