Phillip Island MotoGP Qualifying | Lorenzo Tops Marquez & Rossi

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo

2013 Phillip Island MotoGP Qualifying Results

For the the third time in the 2013 MotoGP Championship, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo secured the pole.

But the two-time MotoGP Champion’s latest arrived in unusual style as he tried to take any advantage from his rival Marc Marquez heading into the Australian Grand Prix.

During his run in the second 15-minute qualifying session, Lorenzo collided with a seagull coming over Lukey Heights at Phillip Island. But this did not deter Lorenzo from his mission. First, he set a provisional pole time of 1:28,681, breaking Casey Stoner’s record held from 2008 (Ducati).

But when changing to his second tire, things really got quick. Without any seagull encounters, Lorenzo, who led all of Friday’s practice sessions, was able to pilot his YZR-M1 to a 1:27.899 around the Australian circuit, setting the fastest lap ever at Phillip Island.

Joining Lorenzo on the front row will be Repsol Honda’s Marquez – who can secure the title if he wins and gains a 51-point advantage over Lorenzo – and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi. Marquez was 0.221 of a second back, and Rossi 0.748 of a second back.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I had an impact with a bird on the first few laps on the bike, luckily we could take it off and I could make a second attempt without a passenger, maybe because of this I went a little bit faster and was able to make pole position.

“I’m very happy because I pushed to the limit to make the lap and I made a very good time. We have some problems with the tyre because the new asphalt makes a lot of graining; we’ll see if there are decisions from Dorna or Bridgestone tomorrow for the race. If we can make a good start we will try to get away at the beginning.”

Shortly after Lorenzo’s interview, a decision was made by Bridgestone. Officials announced that to guarantee safety, the rear slicks must be changed after 14 laps. Riders will be able to switch to a machine with fresh tires at least once during the race, and no rider can go over 14 laps. Prototypes will have to use the hard-option Bridgestone, and the CRTs the medium options.

The current MotoGP points leader Marquez was able to slip into the pole position when Lorenzo went to change tires, but was later beat out by his rival. Marquez also suffered a light crash at turn 10 during the final free practice sessions today, but is determined to clinch the title at Phillip Island, round 16 of 18. If Marquez is successful, he will become the first rider in 35 years to earn a MotoGP title in his rookie year (the last rider was Freddie Spencer).

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “The goal today was to get a front row start for tomorrow, and we achieved it. We knew that Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino (Rossi) would be very fast over a single lap with the new soft tyre compound, something that they showed today.

“Jorge, Dani [Pedrosa] and Valentino have a great pace, but I think I can stick with them. After the issues with tires the race will now be a flag-to-flag, which for me is the first time so it will be interesting –even if I would have preferred a shorter race but this is the decision from Race Direction. We shall see if in the warm up we can try out some last minute things and then we will give 100 percent, as always.”

Rossi, who only finished off the podium at Phillip Island three times since joining the premier class in 2000, was over a half-second behind Marquez. The nine-time World Champion beat GP&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista to the final front-row spot by a mere 0.066 of a second.

Joining Bautista on the second row will be Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, the only other MotoGP pilot with a mathematical change of earning the title besides Lorenzo and Marquez, and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, who will ride for Ducati starting next season.

Qualifying on row three will be Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, and the Ducati duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively. Earlier this week, Hayden was confirmed to ride with Aspar for the 2014-2015 MotoGP seasons.

Taking the top CRT qualifying honors was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards. The American qualified 11th, 2.365 seconds behind Lorenzo.

Missing from Sunday’s Phillip Island MotoGP grid will be LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. The German broke his ankle last week during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix. He attempted to ride at practice, but was four seconds of the pace, causing Dorna to rule him out.

The Australian Bryan Staring will start his home race 21st on the Gresini CRT bike, with fellow countryman Damian Cudlin having qualified 23rd for PBM on his 31st birthday.

A special event also occurred Saturday when the 2007 and 2011 MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner was inducted as a MotoGP Legend. Stoner, the retired MotoGP pilot who became the 20th MotoGP Legend, now joins a list of distinguished riders, such as compatriots Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan

2013 Phillip Island MotoGP Qualifying Results:

199Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha337.91’27.899
293Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda342.51’28.1200.221 / 0.221
346Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha340.11’28.6470.748 / 0.527
419Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda341.41’28.7130.814 / 0.066
526Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda337.91’28.7480.849 / 0.035
635Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha336.81’28.8090.910 / 0.061
738Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha334.51’28.9411.042 / 0.132
869Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati335.01’29.2951.396 / 0.354
94Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati339.51’29.6601.761 / 0.365
1029Andrea IANNONEITAEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati342.21’29.7561.857 / 0.096
115Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki329.91’30.2642.365 / 0.508
1214Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART327.21’30.7352.836 / 0.471

1341Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART328.11’30.0810.082 / 0.058
1471Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki326.91’30.5300.531 / 0.449
1568Yonny HERNANDEZCOLIgnite Pramac RacingDucati337.21’30.6410.642 / 0.111
167Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR328.31’30.7330.734 / 0.092
179Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter327.41’30.8940.895 / 0.161
1870Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART327.71’30.9790.980 / 0.085
198Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR322.21’31.0611.062 / 0.082
2023Luca SCASSAITACardion AB MotoracingART323.71’31.0931.094 / 0.032
2167Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda319.01’31.7751.776 / 0.682
2252Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter322.01’32.4742.475 / 0.699
2350Damian CUDLINAUSPaul Bird MotorsportPBM322.21’33.0073.008 / 0.533
6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda