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The final qualifying session leaves the Honda rider first, but Lorenzo demonstrated a consistent pace that could prove useful on race day...
The final qualifying session of the Monster Energy Grand Prix sees Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) back in pole position for the third time this season. He was over half a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), with Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) left to take third place on the front row in Sunday's race.
The pole position changed hands several times during the final round, but Marquez dropped his time to 1'32.246 to take his third pole position of the season. The World Champion clearly sees Lorenzo as a threat though: "In qualifying we used the best setup that we had found. We were lucky that the track was in good condition which allowed me to ride normally. I am happy with pole position and tomorrow a tough race awaits us, because Jorge especially has a very good pace. We will try to be as close to him as we can!"
Lorenzo seems to agree, believing he can do better: "The conditions were difficult on the track, you have to be careful with slicks and stay confident. We were lucky on the last lap to have 99% of the track dry and I pushed quite a bit. It was a pity that I didn‘t ride any good laps and was slower than I was in FP3. I made a mistake in sector three and lost probably half a second, but I was lucky not to go outside of the track and ride a very good sector four, which put me on the first row.”
Dovizioso was satisfied with a front row start, but also believes he has more pace to extract: “The front row is fine and it is also very important because in MotoGP it’s always essential to start as far up the grid as possible. I could probably have been a bit closer to Marquez and try and go for pole, but in any case I set a good lap time”.
The second row will be headed by Cal Crutchlow (CWM-LCR Honda). The Brit has remained among the fastest in the weekend's practice sessions. His position also places him as the best satellite rider, ahead of countryman Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who was sixth after leading FP2 on Friday.
Between Crutchlow and Smith, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) managed a creditable fifth. As we have seen in Free Practice, the rider is recovering after dislocating his shoulder during testing in Mugello.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will start seventh in the attempt to defend his lead in the championship standings. His main rivals, Marquez and Lorenzo, will start the race way ahead on the front row, so his chances will lie in choosing the right tyre and an aggressive initial push to avoid losing the front runners.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) continues his comeback after undergoing surgery to solve the problems in his right forearm. Tomorrow he starts from a respectable 8th on the grid and he appears happy with his pace: "This first qualifying session back has not gone badly. We could have gone a little faster but in the end I didn't quite manage it. The positive news is that today I am feeling a little better physically than yesterday and that's a good thing!”
The MotoGP action continues on May 17 at 09:40 local time with the warm up session. The race will commence at 14:00.
Click here for the full qualifying results.
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