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Lorenzo takes pole number five of season in Portugal

Lorenzo takes pole number five of season in Portugal

Jorge Lorenzo maintained the pressure on his championship rival and team-mate Valentino Rossi at Estoril by taking pole position at the Grande Premio de Portugal.

Last year’s race-winner at Estoril Jorge Lorenzo showed his strengths at the Portuguese track again on Saturday as he followed up his free practice dominance with his fifth pole position performance of the year in qualifying.

The Spaniard has not won from pole this year, but he will hope to do so on Sunday as he seeks to reduce the 30-point advantage his team-mate Valentino Rossi enjoys at the top of the standings. Lorenzo’s best Saturday time of 1’36.214 on the 27th of his 29 laps was enough to put him at the front of the grid for the round 14 contest.

On the other side of the Fiat Yamaha pit-box Rossi reminded his colleague that he will be in and around him on Sunday whatever happens, the Italian lapping a quarter of a second behind Lorenzo.

A commendable effort by Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro), on his return to GP action after two months away due to illness, saw the Australian former World Champion bounce back with a front row result – courtesy of a best time just 0.054s slower than Rossi’s fastest.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) has been close to the front in all three sessions so far and is likely to be a threat from the front of the second row on Sunday. The Catalan rider was around half a second off Lorenzo’s pace.

In fifth place again was the best performing satellite rider of the year so far, Colin Edwards, who has looked consistently fast throughout the weekend on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.

Completing the second row is Randy de Puniet who no longer appears to be suffering from the ankle injury he picked up in the summer and is doing a great job for the LCR Honda team in 2009.

The third row features Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), whilst the QP top ten was rounded off by Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing).


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