Lorenzo breaks lap record to take pole

Jorge Lorenzo smashes the lap record to secure pole position ahead of Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi at the Czech GP.

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo obliterated the lap record at the Automotodrom 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.

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 ever under the 1’55 barrier. Lorenzo’s record-breaking 1’54.989 securing his second pole position of the season and 31st in his MotoGP™ career in the process.

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.

Current championship leader Valentino Rossi had to dig deep in an effort to cure his qualifying woes and 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.

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 update 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 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 on the grid.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had earlier made 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 4th 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 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.

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