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Lorenzo takes third consecutive MotoGP pole to keep 100% record

Lorenzo takes third consecutive MotoGP pole to keep 100% record

The man with an affinity for all things golden, Jorge Lorenzo continued to display his MotoGP Midas touch in an amazing qualifying session in Estoril.

The man with an affinity for all things golden, Jorge Lorenzo continued to display his MotoGP Midas touch in an amazing qualifying session in Estoril, putting himself on pole for Sunday afternoon´s bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal and smashing more than four tenths off the pole record set by Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi in 2006.

Lorenzo clocked a time of 1´35.715 in the final stages of the MotoGP session to maintain his 100% pole position record in the premier class. He becomes the first rider since qualifying records began to be recorded in 1974 to take three from three in his rookie season, following on from top spots in Qatar and Jerez.

Current World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa once again goes head to head with his countryman and arch rival, as the only other rider to go round in under 1´36. The Repsol Honda rider has the chance to win consecutive races in MotoGP for the first time, but will have no shortage of competition in Sunday´s race.

The only Bridgestone rider on hand to prevent a Michelin clean sweep at the top of the timesheet, Valentino Rossi defended the Japanese tyre manufacturer´s honour with his first front row since switching to the Bridgestone-shod Yamaha M1 package at the start of the season. He went almost side-on in his attempts to take pole, forced to make a spectacular save in the final minutes.

Behind the five-time MotoGP World Champion with an enviable record in Portugal, Repsol Honda´s Nicky Hayden has also been going strong during the practice and qualifying sessions. The American heads the second row, ahead of the Tech 3 Yamaha duo of Colin Edwards and James Toseland. It was announced today that the relationship between the team and factory would be extended until the end of 2010, with Toseland onboard the M1 until at least the end of 2009, and the Briton will be looking to justify the decision with another top race result.

Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest satellite Honda in seventh place, onboard the JiR Team Scot RC212V, whilst final Michelin-shod rider Randy de Puniet placed eighth. The Frenchman seemingly lacked confidence with grip after a morning crash, evidenced by his choosing to run the bike off track rather than lean into an early corner.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner starts from the tail end of the third row in Estoril, after a problematic qualifying run. To add insult to injury, the Australian was on the receiving end of gesticulation from Lorenzo early on in the session, seemingly for obstructing the pugnacious Spaniard´s line.

Kawasaki´s John Hopkins completed the top ten, whilst there was a high speed lowside crash for Suzuki´s Loris Capirossi once the qualifying rubber went on the GSV-R.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, QP

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