Lorenzo settles for second, Rossi loses pace

Lorenzo settles for second, Rossi loses pace
Saturday, 18 May 2013

MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will line up second on the grid at Le Mans, having missed out on pole position to championship leader Marc Marquez by the narrow margin of three hundredths of a second. Teammate Valentino Rossi will have a larger challenge as he comes from eighth at the start.

The leading Yamaha Factory Racing team rider had set the pace in the pre-qualifying fourth practice session, but was pipped to the post in the Q2 shootout.

“All weekend we have been working very much to improve the feeling with the front tyre - with which we had some difficulties in Jerez - in order to have a more consistent pace,” Lorenzo explained after qualifying. “I think we got it. I was concentrating on doing a very fast lap but unfortunately I couldn’t beat Marc today because he was really fast, but our main target for today was to improve the bike for the race and I think we got it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Teammate Valentino Rossi is hoping to become the fourth winner from as many 2013 Grands Prix by taking victory this weekend, but he will come from eighth on the grid.

“Unfortunately today was a worse day compared to yesterday,” the Italian stated. “We started quite badly this morning because we had some problems with the rear tyre, so we struggled very much in the practice. We had a lot of question marks so we wanted to try the same setting this afternoon. In fact the tyre had a problem because this afternoon it was not so bad. My rhythm and pace for the race is quite good.

“Like the other races, in qualifying I am unable to do what I want; when I try to push more I create some problems with the bike. The other riders are better than me at using the extra grip from the new tyre, so I have to start from the third row. My rhythm is not so bad so we have to try to fix something.”

The Yamaha factory outfit has not been on pole position at Le Mans since 2010, when Rossi headed Lorenzo in a one-two qualifying finish.

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