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Lorenzo on pole after pulsating Catalunya qualifying

Lorenzo on pole after pulsating Catalunya qualifying

The Fiat Yamaha rider secured his third consecutive pole position in a fantastic session which saw the order change many times. Casey Stoner and Randy de Puniet will complete the front row for Sunday’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

Jorge Lorenzo put in a strong end of qualifying run to take pole position for Sunday’s race at Montmeló, coming out on top in an hour-long battle for supremacy in the session. The Fiat Yamaha rider’s best time of 1’42.046 ended up placing him 0.364s clear, but only after top spot had changed hands a number of times.

Second position was Casey Stoner’s after the Ducati Team rider overcame what was a clear dissatisfaction with his bike to move up several places on his 19th of 21 laps. The Australian did take first spot with his time of 1’42.410, but only momentarily as Lorenzo hit back with his penultimate lap.

Completing the front row after another superb QP will be Randy de Puniet, and the LCR Honda rider’s consistency throughout the session was impressive. The Frenchman led until ten minutes before the end when the battle heated up, eventually timing a further 0.102s behind Stoner to make it three front-row starts in succession.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa also made a late surge and he climbed onto the front row for a few minutes before finishing fourth, just eight hundredths of a second off De Puniet in a breathless final few laps. Ben Spies also made a charge at the end of the session and improved his standing considerably, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider following up an impressive day one practice with fifth place on the starting grid.

Andrea Dovizioso completed the second row as he took his Repsol Honda round in the sixth best time. Loris Capirossi will have been pleased with the marked improvement on the GSV-R of the Rizla Suzuki team as he placed seventh, with rookies Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) also taking third row places, the latter securing his best qualification so far this season.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) were 10th and 11th respectively. Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) had finished the session in eighth, but his final lap was cancelled after Race Direction deemed he had cut the track between Turns 1 and 2, meaning his reclassified position was 12th.

The Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya MotoGP race gets underway at 2pm local time on Sunday.


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