News 9 Oct 2010

MotoGP: Lorenzo edges out Hayden in Sepang qualifying

Jorge Lorenzo will start the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from pole position – his sixth of the season – after topping qualifying at Sepang on Saturday.

Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole in Malaysia on Sunday, a good chance to win the world title.

Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole in Malaysia on Sunday, a good chance to win the world title.

Jorge Lorenzo will start the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from pole position – his sixth of the season – after topping qualifying at Sepang on Saturday.

The Fiat Yamaha rider can secure the 2010 title with a finish of at least ninth place in Sunday’s race, and placed himself in prime position to do so with a best lap of 2:01.537.

Ahead of the most important race in his grand prix career to date, the Spaniard was relaxed on Sarurday.

“I really wanted to fight for the pole position today, because I know the race tomorrow is going to be tough and it will be difficult to battle for the victory,” Lorenzo commented.

“We were strong throughout the session and in the end we did a great lap. I am so happy to be back on pole. Now the moment is arriving, it’s such an important day for my career and I’m excited for tomorrow.

“We are starting in the best shape and we just have to see what happens. For now we will try to stay calm and focused!”

Nicky Hayden appeared close to securing his first pole in three years when he took the lead of the session towards the end, but the Ducati rider will not be disappointed with his second front-row start of the season after eventually losing out to Lorenzo by exactly one-tenth of a second.

Following up his first premier class pole last time out at Motegi, Andrea Dovizioso secured third position on the grid with another impressive qualifying display.

The sole Repsol Honda representative this weekend was 0.292s off Lorenzo’s marker by the conclusion of the hour-long session.

Just missing out on a front-row start by a margin of 0.164s, and also the final rider under the 2’02” barrier in the session, Ben Spies took fourth spot having led the timings with ten minutes remaining.

Casey Stoner of the Ducati Team ended the session in fifth position, just seven-thousandths ahead of Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) who took the final slot on row two.

Both riders had been quick in race trim, but were unable to reproduce the fast qualifying lap to seal a front row start so will require a good launch off the line to get involved in the battle for victory.

Completing the top ten in the session were Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Rizla Suzuki duo Álvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi – who was back on track after a crash in the earlier practice session – and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini).

Héctor Barberá (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) had a fall at the very end of the session and qualified in 15th.

In the Moto2 class Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), the only man who can still stop Toni Elías from claiming the inaugural world title, qualified in pole position with a best time of 2:08.562.

The Spaniard was almost two-tenths faster than Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2), who qualified in second place and had been quickest in both practice sessions.

It was Simón’s third pole of 2010 – his second in succession – as he continues his search for a first Moto2 win and following him and De Angelis onto the front row was Thomas Lüthi in third.

For the Swiss rider of the Interwetten Moriwaki team it was a first front-row qualification since the Catalunya GP at the start of July.

Completing the front line of the starting grid is Elías, who is aiming to wrap up the World Championship in Sunday’s race, an outcome which depends on Simón’s result as well.

Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans STR), Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) all booked places on the second row, with Michael Ranseder (Vector Kiefer Racing), Alex Debón (Aeroport de Castelló-Ajo), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP) and Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) comprising the third.

There were falls during the session for Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) – who was unable to return to the track and set a qualification time due to his damaged bike – as well as Debón, Mashel Al Naimi (Blusens-STX) and Malaysian wild card rider Mohamad Zamri Baba (Petronas SIC TWMR Malaysia).

Marc Márquez’s tenth pole position of the season was secured in the 125cc session as the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider laid down a best lap of 2:13.398.

The 17 year-old, who trails championship leader Nico Terol by just six points going into Sunday’s race, was 0.293s faster than second placed Bradley Smith.

The British rider had looked to be on course for his third pole of the campaign as he led towards the climax of the session, but Márquez first posted a time just five-thousandths of a second better than that of the Bancaja Aspar man before improving to end up almost three-tenths clear.

Smith’s teammate Terol was third at 0.706s off Márquez’s time with Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) completing a familiar-looking front row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

Efrén Vázquez (Tuenti Racing), Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing) secured second-row berths, with Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany), Randy Krummenacher (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Johann Zarco (WTR San Marino Team) and Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol) making up the third line of the grid.

Young Brit Danny Kent (Lambretta Reparto Corse), in only his third GP this season, qualified in an impressive 13th position.

There was a crash during the session for local rider Khairuddin Zulfahmi (AirAsia – Sepang International Circuit Team) who was avoided well by the following Márquez, whilst Simone Grotzkyj (Fontana Racing) also fell towards the end.

The 125cc race gets the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix race day schedule underway at 1pm local time on Sunday.

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