Lorenzo happy despite Honda threat at Indy

Qualifying reaction Indy Yamaha
Saturday, 17 August 2013

World Champion Jorge Lorenzo qualified second at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Saturday, whilst his teammate Valentino Rossi struggled to ninth on the grid.

Continuing his comeback from Assen and Sachsenring collarbone injuries this weekend, Jorge Lorenzo will look to build on his sixth place at Laguna Seca from second place on The Brickyard grid. Lorenzo was the last Yamaha rider to win at Indianapolis, in 2009, and with Honda riders winning the last three MotoGP™ races at the venue the man from Majorca knows Sunday will be a big test.

The title holder qualified just ahead of Dani Pedrosa, but was half a second down on Marc Marquez in qualifying – with the rookie in sensational form.

“I am surprised because the Honda guys are really strong, not only Marc but also Dani and Stefan (Bradl), so it’s really difficult to beat them,” Lorenzo commented, disappointed to miss out on pole but remaining upbeat nonetheless. “I tried to do a perfect lap; the first one was quite good, the second one I made some mistakes.

“I’m happy because it’s been a long time since we have had a good result, so thank you to the team and let’s see what happens tomorrow. I expect a really hard race.”

While Lorenzo will be starting up on the front row, teammate Valentino Rossi struggled his way to ninth position and the back of Row 3.

“I’m disappointed because in practice we weren’t fantastic, but better than we were this afternoon,” said the Indy winner of 2008. “Unfortunately, in the 15 minutes of qualifying the other guys were able to improve more - especially as they are able to improve in braking and corner entry. Jorge did a fantastic job!

“I tried, but when I put on the soft tyre I have more problems with the front and I cannot push a lot. I just managed to improve my time a bit from the used tyre when we had done already 15 laps. Anyway, we have to look forward and try to improve tomorrow. My pace is nothing fantastic but it's better than ninth position, so I have to try to recover some positions and have a good race.”

Heading into Sunday’s 27-lap encounter, Lorenzo and Rossi sit third and fourth in the Riders’ Championship – respectively 26 and 36 points behind leader Marc Marquez.

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