With Dani Pedrosa unable to race in Malaysia, Jorge Lorenzo only needs to finish in the top 10 in order to claim his first MotoGP World Championship. Lorenzo set his intentions out in qualifying today by claiming pole position with a flying final lap that bumped Nicky Hayden off the top slot.
Valentino Rossi who was fastest in practice on the first day, showed he had pace at the start of the session but as the qualifying progressed he was unable to find the improvements that Lorenzo, Hayden, Dovizioso, Spies and Stoner managed to find, and ended in 6th position.
Jorge Lorenzo Position: 1st Time: 2’01.537 Laps: 25
“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. 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!”
Valentino Rossi Position: 6th Time: 2’02.030 Laps: 24
“With the hard tyre we’re not so bad, even if we’re lacking some grip and the bike is moving a bit, so it’s not so easy to control. However with the softer tyre we suffered a lot more because the movement became bigger and I couldn’t use the extra grip. This means I am only on the second row. Tomorrow’s race will be very hard, maybe the hardest of the season because the temperature is unbelievable and starting from the second row will make it even harder, but we will do our best and hope to make a good start.”
Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager
“Jorge did well! He was very consistent and it’s great to be back on pole for the first time since Laguna. Since then he hasn’t necessarily been riding as freely as in the early part of the season but today he looked at his very best. The bike is really good and the new engine is working well, so we will use it tomorrow. It’s difficult to judge how the race will be, for sure he is nervous, as anyone would be, but it didn’t seem to affect him today so I am sure he will be okay tomorrow. Let’s see what happens!”
Davide Brivio Team Manager
“We expected a better result than this today and our potential was greater, so we’re a bit disappointed. We need to improve our tyre grip with the race setting; we tried some different combinations during the session and now we need to make some choices so we will use the warm-up for this. Unfortunately at the end of the session the soft tyre didn’t give us as big an advantage as we were hoping for so we couldn’t do better than the second row, but we will try to improve for the race.”
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