2013 Qatar MotoGP | Yamaha’s Lorenzo Claims Pole

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo

2013 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results

As the 1000cc era in MotoGP enters its sophomore year, a new qualifying format goes into effect.

Following the first three free practice sessions, the 10 fastest riders automatically advance to qualifying 2 (Q2). The rest of the riders battle it out in qualifying 1 (Q1), with the top two riders in Q1 advancing into Q2.

These 12 riders in Q2  than go head-to-head in a 15-minute session, creating the top-12 grid for this year’s racing. The remaining part of the grid is created from positions 3 through 14 in Q1, which turn into positions 13 through 24 for the overall qualifying grid.

And during the debut of this new qualifying for 2013 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo came out on top. This gives Lorenzo a flawless front-row starting record across all classes at Losail.

The two-time MotoGP Champion posted a 1:54.714 at the circuit, which also became the new fastest lap at Losail. This was the reigning MotoGP Champion’s seventh pole position at Losail across all classes, and the 26th of his premier-class career; last season he also took the pole before taking the win at Qatar ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and the now-retired Casey Stoner.

Lorenzo will be joined on the front row by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

The Brit Crutchlow missed the pole by 0.202 of a second. Pedrosa surprised with his third-place position, the Spaniard dealing with front grip issues aboard the RC213V throughout free practice. He finished 0.437 of a second back.

Heading up the second row is Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian trailing Pedrosa by only 0.009 of a second. Finishing up the second row will be LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the rookie Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda who was quickest on Friday.

Although Valentino Rossi displayed much speed during free practice for Qatar MotoGP during his highly anticipated return to Yamaha Factory Racing, the Italian was seventh quickest. He posted a 1:55.711, trailing Lorenzo by 0.997 of a second. Rossi was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo.

Joining Rossi on the third row is GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, respectively.

The fourth row will consist of Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, the third rookie with Smith and Marquez to make it into the to 10, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and the top CRT rider – Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who was the quickest CRT bike throughout the free practices.

Ignite Pramac Ducati’s Ben Spies, who suffered a hard crash during the fourth free practice, qualified third in the Q1 session, automatically giving him 13th on the Qatar grid. Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, who pushed hard in an attempt to make Q2 but lost out in the second half of the lap, will be 14th, but impressing many was Czech newcomer Lukáš Pešek who will start his first MotoGP race from 15th on the grid for Came IodaRacing Project.

The rest of the top 20 is made up by PBM’s Yonny Hernández (who has already suffered two crashes this weekend), Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards (who raced to the leading CRT position in Qatar last year) and Ioda’s Danilo Petrucci. The 24-rider grid is completed by Forward’s Claudio Corti at the start of his first full MotoGP campaign, Avintia’s Héctor Barberá who suffered technical problems at the start of Q1, Australian Gresini debutant Bryan Staring and PBM’s Michael Laverty who is helping to develop the team’s own-built bike, MotoGP says.

The 24-rider MotoGP grid will be back on the Losail International Circuit on Sunday for a warm-up ahead of the opening round there at 3 p.m. EST. SPEED TV will provide coverage of the race, which will be held under the floodlights, at 3 p.m. EST.

2013 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 335.9 1’54.714
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 334.7 1’54.916 0.202 / 0.202
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.8 1’55.151 0.437 / 0.235
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 336.4 1’55.160 0.446 / 0.009
5 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 340.0 1’55.477 0.763 / 0.317
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.0 1’55.645 0.931 / 0.168
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 337.7 1’55.711 0.997 / 0.066
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 338.5 1’55.870 1.156 / 0.159
9 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 333.9 1’56.315 1.601 / 0.445
10 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 339.8 1’56.523 1.809 / 0.208
11 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 337.9 1’56.667 1.953 / 0.144
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 318.8 1’57.064 2.350 / 0.397
13 11 Ben SPIES USA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 334.7 1’57.440 0.289 / 0.237
14 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 316.4 1’57.551 0.400 / 0.111
15 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 314.5 1’57.926 0.775 / 0.375
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 314.4 1’58.058 0.907 / 0.132
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 312.0 1’58.263 1.112 / 0.205
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 314.2 1’58.271 1.120 / 0.008
19 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 313.9 1’58.361 1.210 / 0.090
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 313.2 1’58.486 1.335 / 0.125
21 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 311.4 1’58.755 1.604 / 0.269
22 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 319.5 1’58.806 1.655 / 0.051
23 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 315.6 1’58.912 1.761 / 0.106
24 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 312.5 1’59.572 2.421 / 0.660