MotoGP: Lorenzo destroys lap record to take pole in Brno
Sat, Aug 15th 2015 – Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo obliterated the lap record at the Autodromo Brno to take an incredible pole position at the bwin Grand Prix Ceské Republiky.
The two-time MotoGP™ World Champion secured his second pole of the season with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and championship leader Valentino Rossi completing the front row.
Unlike on Friday when track temperatures reached over 50?C, conditions were almost ideal for Q2 at the iconic Brno track. A track temperature of 42?C and a light breeze meant grip levels were at their optimum, and the thousands of fans at the 5.2km Autodromo Brno were treated to one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the year. As always, the outcome came down to the final few seconds of the session when riders popped in a fresh softer option rear tyre and headed out on their last flying laps.
Jorge Lorenzo– “I am really proud of my two lap times, because the first one was as impressive as the second but just not enough to make the pole position. In the end I had to improve the lap time by two or three tenths to keep an advantage over Marc. I didn’t expect my time, but I didn’t expect those from Marc or even Valentino either, but everyone was pushing so much and they improved a lot. My pole position lap was very good, almost perfect, except maybe the last corner wasn’t because I had a lot of wheel spin, but a perfect lap is impossible, so we have to be very satisfied. I am confident for tomorrow because I think we have a great base setting. We will see tomorrow what the weather is like, how our rivals are doing after some laps, but we are confident.”
Lorenzo had already broken Cal Crutchlow’s 2013 pole record in FP3 (1’55.527), and after his first run found himself on top of the timesheets with a 1’55.238. Things would just get better for the Spaniard on his second run, as he managed to set the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle around the circuit, and the first under the 1’55 barrier. His record-breaking 1’54.989 securing his 31st pole position in his MotoGP™ career in the process. Lorenzo is aiming to take his first win at Brno since 2010 as he looks to close the 9-point gap in the standings to his teammate Rossi.
Valentino Rossi- “I think a first row start is going to be very important because Jorge and Marc will be very fast from the beginning and if you start from behind it will be impossible to stay with them, so I’m very happy with this result, also because we worked very well with the team. Already this morning we found a good way to proceed, but this afternoon we improved the setting and were able to also have a good pace, and like I said it’s very important to start from the front row, because it will be a very hard race.”
Marc Marquez followed up his back-to-back wins at Indianapolis and the Sachsenring by qualifying in second. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion missing out on pole by just 0.074s as he also decimated the previous pole record. Marquez won at Brno in 2013, although last year he finished fourth, and is currently third in the championship standings having closed the gap to Rossi at the top to 56 points.
Current championship leader Valentino Rossi had to dig deep in an effort to cure his qualifying woes, but it paid off and he will start Sunday’s race from the back of the front row. The Italian had completed a Yamaha 1-2 behind Lorenzo in FP3 & FP4, but could not quite match the pace of his teammate in Q2, finishing 0.364s behind Lorenzo. Rossi will be delighted to be starting from the front row after conceding too much time to Lorenzo and Marquez at the start of the Indianapolis GP when he had to start from eighth.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+0.401s) stuck with the older version of his GP15 to set the fourth fastest time on his very last lap. The Italian had received an updated version of the Desmosedici for Brno with a new engine and fairing, but opted for the older model for the entirety of the session.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was the leading Satellite rider, and will start from the middle of the second row after putting in his best qualifying performance of the season. Smith has shown an impressive race pace throughout the weekend and found himself just 0.471s behind Lorenzo in fifth.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (+0.946s) was almost a further 0.5s back as he made use of his updated GP15 to secure sixth on the grid. Maverick Viñales on the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR once again out qualified his more experienced teammate and will start from seventh.
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had earlier made it through as the fastest rider from Q1 and will start from eighth. A rather battered and bruised Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda recovered from his crash in FP2 to set the ninth fastest time.
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow had to settle for tenth, after he was also forced to battle it out in Q1. The British rider will start from the front of the fourth row, with Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera in eleventh on the leading Open class bike after he made it directly through to Q2 for the first time this season. Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez, who also made it through automatically to Q2, completes the fourth row.
Scott Redding will start from 14th on the grid after failing to make it through to Q2, while Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) is the leading Open Honda rider in 20th.