x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Lorenzo grabs pole but crash puts him in doubt

The Spaniard is the polesitter at Laguna Seca but he may not ride later today after a crash at the end of qualifying.

Jorge Lorenzo was in fine form around Laguna Seca, but a crash at the end of the qualifying session puts him doubt whether he can lead the grid tonight.
Jorge Lorenzo was in fine form around Laguna Seca, but a crash at the end of the qualifying session puts him doubt whether he can lead the grid tonight.

Jorge Lorenzo claimed pole position at Laguna Seca but may not be fit to race after being stretchered away after today's qualifying session. The Fiat Yamaha rider set a mark of 1 min 21.678 secs but both he and his world championship rival Casey Stoner suffered crashes near the end of the session with the Spaniard taken away on a stretcher. Stoner, the Ducati rider, was third in 1 min 21.910 secs, behind Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi (1 min 21.845 secs) and appeared to be walking unaided, but seems to be limping, after his crash on turn three. His crash came just moments after Lorenzo, who had already been involved in a low-side crash earlier in the session, hi-sided, landing on his shoulder and sliding 30 metres into the sand. It was unclear whether either would be able to race tomorrow. Dani Pedrosa was fourth with fellow Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Toni Elias making up the second row. Rossi leads the championship after securing his 100th win last weekend, with Lorenzo second and Stoner third. Lorenzo will undergo a late medical check this morning and faces an anxious wait to discover whether he can race today but the Spaniard is optimistic over his chances. "We were really comfortable and competitive on this track, but when I had my last chance to do a quick lap time I found some slower riders on track and they wanted to follow me," he said. "I decided to slow down for a while because I wanted to be alone but the rear tyre was too cold for the speed I was doing. I went into the corner and I crashed. "I'm disappointed for these two crashes but I am OK and I am optimistic that I will be able to ride tomorrow. "Now the American doctors and the Clinica Mobile are working together to try to help me as best they can and make me more comfortable." World champion Rossi wished a speedy recovery to both Lorenzo and Stoner. "I just hope that Casey and Jorge are fit and are able to race, because for sure it would be a great battle between us, as our pace on race tyres is very similar," he said.

*PA Sport