x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Leader Lorenzo vaults to pole

Jorge Lorenzo follows up his win in Japan by qualifying on pole position for the Jerez round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship.

Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo strikes form ahead of the
Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo strikes form ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.

Jerez // Jorge Lorenzo followed up his win in Japan by qualifying on pole position for the Jerez round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship. The Fiat Yamaha rider set a fastest lap of 1min 38.933sec to build on his victory at Motegi by giving himself the best chance of triumphing in Spain. "It's amazing to have the pole position here again, in my home country," Lorenzo said. "Riding at this track is extra special for a Spanish rider and I felt a great motivation today.

"Yesterday we had some problems and I was a bit worried but we have worked well in the team and today we managed to resolve everything so that I could ride my Yamaha just how I wanted to. I felt very comfortable and I hope that this will be the same for the race." Lorenzo set the quickest time ahead of the qualifying session ahead of fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda and the Ducati Marlboro machine of 2007 champion Casey Stoner.

It was the first time Lorenzo's teammate Valentino Rossi, the defending champion, had qualified off the front row of the grid this season as the Italian was fourth quickest. Randy de Puniet was fifth quickest on the LCR Honda as Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi rounded off the second row of the grid. The third row will feature the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha of Colin Edwards, the Repsol Honda of Andrea Dovizioso and the San Carlo Gresini Honda of Toni Elias.

Capirossi's Rizla Suzuki teammate Chris Vermeulen rounded out the top 10. But the former world champion Nicky Hayden continued his poor form this season as he was only 16th quickest on the Ducati Marlboro bike. Alex de Angelis was thought to be uninjured after he crashed his San Carlo Honda, finishing the qualifying session with the 15th best time. * PA Sport