News 11 Sep 2016

Lorenzo strikes back with Misano MotoGP pole

Record-breaking qualifying session sees world champion on top.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo took a record-breaking pole position at Misano World Circuit, beating his own pole lap from 2015 and putting in the first-ever 1m31s lap of the Adriatic venue.

Teammate Valentino Rossi took P2 on home turf, with a last dash from Silverstone winner Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) enough to lock out the front row.

The skies over the Riviera di Rimini have proved a stark contrast to those above Silverstone circuit for qualifying in the British GP, with the sun high in the Italian sky and the grandstands shining their own gleaming yellow.

With FP4 commanded by home hero Rossi, it was however his teammate who staged the first real challenge for pole as Lorenzo put in the first low 1m32s effort of the session.

Lorenzo wasn’t done there, as the reigning champion then put in a new lap record to beat his own from 2015, laying down a marker at a track that – whilst behind enemy lines – has proven one of the Mallorcan’s best.

After just missing the 1m31s bracket in that first run, the ‘Spartan’ then came back out and lowered the lap time once again to put in 1m31.868s and smash the record. The pole at Misano is his 64th in the world championship, taking him one above Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Rossi in the record books.

Rossi put in a great lap in the second run of the session to go P2, before race direction cancelled the lap time after the Italian had exceeded track limits. With one shot left, the Italian put in another, legal lap and took back his place on the front row – the only man to get within half a second of his teammate on pole.

Viñales moved onto the front row to knock Marquez back on his second run, as the paddock’s most recent victor took his Team Suzuki Ecstar team back to the front once again; the warmer temperatures not proving as difficult for the Suzuki as feared.

Marquez was the closest challenger after the initial run of fast laps, but with visors cleaned and final preparations for the last run made was unable to set a better time in the second half of the session and will begin fourth. Joining him on the second row are the Ducati Team duo of Michele Pirro and Andrea Dovizioso.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow heads up the third row as top Independent Team rider from Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa, with Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the top ten.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were P11 and P12 as the last of the Q2 participants. Australian Jack Miller is starting out of 17th.

Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) came out fighting in Moto2 qualifying, as the Frenchman took pole at the Italian venue after being outpaced throughout the weekend by Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who lines up P2.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing) completed the front row as the hot afternoon temperatures bore down on the intermediate class. Remy Gardner qualified in 28th position.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) stole the Moto3 pole position in the final seconds of the session, with the South African heading a qualifying freight train before timing it perfectly to take back P1 over the line on his final lap.

2015 pole-sitter and victor Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) was second fastest after proving the pacesetter on Friday, with Sky Racing Team VR46 rookie Nicolo Bulega qualifying in P3.