MotoGP: Lorenzo launches himself to first pole position of the year at Misano
Misano, Saturday September 13 2014-Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo emphatically displayed his intent to win a fourth consecutive San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix by securing his first pole position of the season at Misano today, and consequently his first ever premier-class pole position at the Italian circuit.
After showing impressive pace in the Free Practice 4 session, Lorenzo extracted even more performance from his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine in Qualifying Practice 2 to post a 1’33.238 on his final lap to finish 0.051 seconds ahead of Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was the second best qualifier. On the other Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machine, Valentino Rossi rounded out the podium in third place with a best lap time of 1’33.302 to finish just 0.013 seconds behind Iannone. Today’s QP2 session was fiercely competitive with the riders on the first two rows of the grid ultimately being separated by less than two-tenths of a second. All riders on the front row used the medium compound front slick to set their best lap time during the time attack in QP2, but whereas Lorenzo and Rossi used the medium compound rear slick, Iannone took advantage of the soft compound rear slick available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Misano to clock his quickest time.
Jorge Lorenzo – “Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud. From the beginning we’ve been competitive, not like in Silverstone where we had some issues. It seems like the Yamaha is working very well as Valentino is also very fast. I pushed hard in the beginning but maybe didn’t know the perfect lines for the perfect lap. Then in the second tyre I made a very good lap time but just in the first section I lost one or two tenths because I made some mistakes and went wide. From section two I made an unbelievable lap so I’m very proud. The important thing is tomorrow, it’s the day we get the points so we have to make a good start and try to lead the race and win. Being on pole gives a small advantage at the start so I will try to make profit of it and push away in the first laps. It won’t be easy to go away as Vale has a good pace and the others will be there but I’m going to try.”
Valentino Rossi – “This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tyre I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow. I’m so satisfied because it’s the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important for tomorrow, it’s much easier to start at the front. I’m also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting. It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow.”
Yesterday’s cool and wet weather gave way to dry and warm conditions today, with a peak track temperature of 34°C recorded at the end of QP2. With this morning’s FP1 session presenting the first dry track time, the majority of riders initially used the soft compound front slick paired with their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders, to get a feel for the Misano tarmac. Although the Ducati and Open-class riders experimented with their two rear slick compound options during the two Free Practice sessions, the Factory and Yamaha riders stuck to using just their softer option, medium compound rear slick for the entire day, with the hard compound rear slick remaining untested. For the front tyres, the majority of riders preferred the medium compound front slick in today’s sessions, although all three front slick options; the soft, medium and hard compound front slick were utilised and all of these options could feature in tomorrow’s race.
Even warmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix which starts at 1400 local time (GMT +2). The twenty-minute morning Warm Up session starts at 0940 and will be an important session as riders look to use every second of dry track time before deciding on their race tyre choice.
2014 MotoGP San Marino QP2 times – Riders that qualified from QP1 shaded
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’33.238
2 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’33.289
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’33.302
4 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’33.360
5 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’33.418
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’33.439
7 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’33.557
8 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha ESP 1’33.713
9 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’33.761
10 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’33.995
11 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’34.283
12 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’34.640
13 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GBR 1’34.495
14 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’34.919
15 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’34.966
19 Alex De Angelis Yamaha SMR 1’35.679