MotoGP Sepang - Qualifying Jorge Lorenzo set himself up in perfect style for his tilt at the title tomorrow by taking a stunning pole position, his sixth of the season, at Sepang this afternoon. His team-mate Valentino Rossi was hopeful of a front row as well but was unable to improve his time in the closing stages and will start from sixth position tomorrow.
With temperatures in the high 30s it was a sweltering session for the riders but Lorenzo was on imperious form throughout, using the new specification M1 engine today for the first time since qualifying in Motegi. The 23-year-old spent several stints at the top and with ten minutes to go it looked like no one was going to catch him, before he was knocked off pole by Nicky Hayden with four minutes remaining. Lorenzo set out to redress the damage but with three quarters of his final flying lap gone he was still down on the American and it looked like it might stay that way. A superb final split from the Spaniard however saw him snatch pole position back and he will start tomorrow's race, from which he needs just seven points to secure the title, from the perfect position at the front of the grid.
Rossi meanwhile, who was fastest yesterday, was consistently in the top three during the early stages of the session but towards the end he was unable to find the extra few tenths that his rivals had found and slipped back to sixth. He was hopeful of improving with the softer Bridgestone tire at the end but it did not give him the advantage he was expecting and he lacked enough grip to push as hard as he wanted. He was unable to improve on his final run and will start tomorrow's race, which gets underway two hours later than usual at 1600 local time, from the outside of the second row.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1stTime: 2'01.537Laps: 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!"
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