News 25 Jul 2010

MotoGP: Lorenzo seals fifth pole in a row at Laguna Seca

Jorge Lorenzo took his fifth consecutive pole position of the campaign on Saturday with a fantastic display in qualifying at Laguna Seca, in which he and Casey Stoner battled to the very end for top spot on the starting grid.

The world championship leader won a marvellous contest with the Australian for pole at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, with a blistering late lap of 1:20.978 to take his 40th career pole.

“It is an impressive achievement to take five poles in a row but it was hard,” Lorenzo commented. “It’s not so important to get pole position, but it is better to make it.

“Casey set some very quick lap times and I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I did one lap which wasn’t fast enough and I just thought to myself to push even harder one more time and I did it.”

Ducati’s Stoner had competed with Lorenzo and his Yamaha for the latter half of the session and led for much of it, his time of 1:21.169 the best of a consistent set of fast laps.

The Australian looked to be on the verge of his second pole of the season but eventually ended the session 0.191s off the Spaniard. The battle for victory at the Californian track at 2pm local time tomorrow afternoon looks certain to feature the two rivals.

Securing third spot on the grid and taking his first ever front-row start in the MotoGP class, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso was a fraction over six-tenths off Lorenzo’s marker, thus underlining the level to which the top two had pushed one another.

The Italian set his best time on his 36th and final lap.

Heading up the second row, which was separated by 0.071s, will be last year’s race winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who was just under four-hundredths off his teammate.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies was impressive once more and will go for home glory from fifth after his final lap slotted him in front of Valentino Rossi, as the reigning world champion secured sixth, repeating his position from both free practice sessions as he continues his recovery from a broken leg.

The top ten was completed by American duo Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3), and rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) and Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar).

Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) had a crash at the top of the corkscrew at the very end of the session, following his fall in the morning practice, and Roger Lee Hayden (LCR Honda) had a run off at the same spot and another at turn nine in a complicated session for the stand-in.

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