Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo kept the pressure on in qualifying ahead of Sunday’s MotoGP™ title showdown, taking second on the grid in qualifying at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, just behind pole man Marc Marquez.
The defending World Champion tackled the last qualifying session of the year in his usual style, first out onto the track and immediately on the pace. His first flying lap was a scorching 1’30.645, enough to drop under the current lap record and take provisional pole position.
Lorenzo then returned immediately to the pits as he developed a technical issue with his number one bike.
He returned to the track with just over six minutes remaining, however the problem remained so he was forced to return to the pits again to switch to bike two. He was back out for the final moments and despite a less than perfect set up was able to drop his time further to a 1’30.577 to secure second position on the front row.
Afterwards, he stated, “The target was to finish on the front row, that is the most important thing in order not to have problems at the first corner. Obviously it’s better to be on pole and we wanted to do it, I felt strong after FP4.”
“We tried our best for pole position but unfortunately bike number one had an issue when we had our second attempt at a fast lap. We went to the second bike but it was an older engine with a different character and it didn’t feel the same.”
The man from Majorca added, “One thing is qualifying, the other is the race. If we make a good start tomorrow we can overtake Marquez and see what we can do in the race.”
Asked who he thinks will win the championship, Lorenzo jokingly replied, “If I had to put my money on it, I’d bet on Marc, but I wouldn’t bet all my money on that.”