BARCELONA // Jorge Lorenzo produced a storming late qualifying lap today to pip Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi to pole position for tomorrow's Catalan MotoGP. In sweltering conditions at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, the Spaniard, 22, clocked a fastest time of 1:41:974 to beat the Italian world champion by 0.013 seconds to secure his third pole of 2009. Championship leader Casey Stoner qualified third on his Ducati, 0.452 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Australian Stoner leads the standings after five of the season's 17 races with 90 points, followed by Lorenzo on 86 and Rossi on 81. Injury-plagued Dani Pedrosa, the Honda rider who is 24 points behind Rossi in fourth overall, qualified eighth for his home race after crashing near the end of the session. Spanish Aprilia rider Julian Simon took pole in the 125cc category ahead of compatriot Pol Espargaro of the Derbi team.