Lorenzo takes first pole position in Qatar
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his strong form today during the Qualifying 2 session, returning to the top of the time sheets again under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit. He secured the 62nd pole position of his career with a 1‘54.543s lap, making him the new leader in the all time pole position classification. His teammate Valentino Rossi, on the other hand, left it to the last lap to make his move, securing fifth on the grid for tomorrow‘s Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.
Losail (Qatar), 19th March 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi rode on the limit this evening during an intense 15-minute qualifying session at the Losail International Circuit to take first and fifth respectively on the grid for tomorrow‘s Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar.
After setting the pace in FP4 with a 1‘55.301s lap, Lorenzo was the last rider to start the 15-minute qualifying shoot out. As the second to last man to leave pit lane he enjoyed some clear track space. He immediately dropped under the 1‘55 mark on his first hot run to take over the provisional pole from his teammate.
Unable to improve on his next lap, he came in for a fresh set of tyres with a little more than six minutes left on the clock and had another go at a time attack only one and a half minutes later. The triple and reigning MotoGP Champion put his head down once more, but had to relinquish the hope of bettering his own time after encountering a big moment on his third flying lap. Fortunately none of his rivals was able come any closer than 0.091s to his 1’54.543s lap, giving him the first pole position of the 2016 season.
Rossi was also on the charge today. Similar to his teammate, the nine-time World Champion left it late to get out on track, but needed little time to put his stamp on the proceedings. His first stint saw him briefly take provisional pole with a 1’56.024s lap. Despite improving his time on his second go, a flurry of activity pushed him back to ninth.
Eager to move up the ranking order, the Doctor quickly returned to the pits and came back out on track with a little less than four and a half minutes of the session remaining. He moved up from tenth to seventh place, but knew he had more to give on his final hot lap. Squeezing out every ounce of effort on his ultimate lap, he clocked a 1’54.815s, 0.272s from pole. This time briefly put him in fourth place, before dropping one place in the qualifying standings. The Doctor will start tomorrow‘s race from the middle of the second row on the grid.
Credit: Movistar Yamaha