When qualifying wrapped up for the Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo said, “I rode many impressive lap times in my career, but this one is very special.”Special indeed; on home turf, Lorenzo destroyed the previous lap record held by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (2014) by more than 0.2 of a second. Lorenzo earned the pole position with a best time of 1:37.910 around the 2.75-mile circuit containing 14 corners.
Qualifying on pole position at Jerez is nothing new for Lorenzo. The 27-year-old YZR-M1 pilot earned pole at Jerez four times since joining the premier class in 2008 (2008 2009, 2012, 2013). The two-time MotoGP Champion also has two premier-class wins at Jerez (2010, 2011); his teammate Valentino Rossi has the most with six.This is good news for Lorenzo considering the rough start he had in 2015 MotoGP. Lorenzo dealt with multiple issues that prevented him from earning any podiums in the opening three rounds.But he was quick from the beginning at Jerez, leading three of four practices and then taking the top qualifying position under extremely hot and greasy conditions. Joining Lorenzo on the front row is Marquez, who rides a week after having a titanium plate inserted in his broken pinky, and Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, respectively.When the 15-minute Q2 session began, Lorenzo followed his traditional protocol – he was the first to leave the pits for some laps around an empty circuit. He immediately went to the top with a 1:38.497.With nine minutes remaining, he returned to the pits for fresh rubber and extended his lead with a 1:38.234. Lorenzo was never challenged, but had more to say; with two minutes remaining, Lorenzo put in his flying lap of 1:37.910 to secure the pole and set a new lap record.“A lot of people said that I had a crisis and I was down, it was one of my worst moments, but just two days later I rode this impressive lap time. That shows that in racing you can‘t say things like ‘this guy is down, he’s finished’ because the next day he’s going to be at the front,” Lorenzo said.“The opposite is true too, you can‘t say you‘re the best, because the next day you’re at the back, so we have to be humble and work to take profit of the opportunities. We arrived here with everything being fine and we took profit of it every session. Setting the new pole position record is unbelievable. I rode many impressive lap times in my career, but this one is very special.“A 1:37.9 with these temperatures is very impressive and I am very satisfied. Marc will be strong tomorrow, as alway, and the Ducatis, too. But, the race is going to be another story. However, our pace is very good and I feel very comfortable with the softer tire when it’s dropping.”Marc Marquez Qualifies Second, Days after SurgeryThe reigning MotoGP Champion Marquez rode through pain to take the second-top spot for Sunday’s 27-lap race. The 22-year-old Spaniard, who won last year’s race from the pole, finished 0.390 of a second behind Lorenzo. Though in obvious pain, he’s on a mission after crashing out in Argentina.“We knew it would be hard work to get onto the front row. That was the goal and we succeeded, so I am very happy about that, but we also know that tomorrow will be a difficult race and it will be hard to finish the 27 laps,” Marquez says.“On the other hand, today I was able to ride without painkillers and tomorrow I will be using them. We had prepared three sets of tires to use in the qualifying session, however, after the crash, I preferred not to push things and we used just the two –but we could not make it onto pole.”As for Iannone, who has finished in the top five in every race, including third at the season-opener in Qatar, qualified third, 0.558 of second behind Lorenzo. Iannone showed speed throughout free practice, and led the fourth and final session.Jerez Qualifying Rows 2 and OnHeading up the second row is the top satellite rider, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, who qualified 0.629 of a second off the pace. The current points leader, nine-time World Champion Rossi, qualified fifth, 0.722 of a second behind his teammate.Taking the final second-row qualifying spot was Team Suzuki ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaro, who was a mere 0.006 of second behind Rossi.Qualifying on the third row were CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who earned his first podium of 2015 MotoGP in Argentina, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez, respectively.Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith earned the top spot on row four, and will be joined by Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding.Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera took the top Open-class qualifying with 13th. As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden qualified 18th, 2.115 seconds off the pace.Round four of the 2015 MotoGP Championship at Jerez takes place Sunday; Fox Sports 1 will begin providing live broadcast coverage at 7:30 a.m. EDT.Rossi, who won in Qatar and Argentina, has the points lead with 66 – six ahead of the rider who finished second at every round so far, Dovizioso.For more, visit 2015 Jerez MotoGP Preview | Rossi Seeks Win #3.2015 Jerez MotoGP Qualifying Results:Front Row1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’37.910 2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’38.300 3. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1’38.468Second Row4. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’38.539 5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.632 6. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP 1’38.638Third Row7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1’38.714 8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’38.823 9. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Pramac Racing 1’39.464Fourth Row10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’39.491 11. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’39.789 12. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’39.825Fifth Row13. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’39.569 14. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP 1’39.603 15. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’39.612Sixth Row16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Repsol Honda Team 1’39.866 17. Michael Laverty (GBR) Aprilia Test Team 1’39.974 18. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Team MotoGP 1’40.025Seventh Row19. Stefan Bradl (GER) Forward Racing 1’40.166 20. Karel Abraham (CZE) AB Motoracing 1’40.177 21. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing 1’40.280Eighth Row22. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1’40.365 23. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’40.817 24. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Octo IodaRacing Team 1’41.108Ninth Row25. Marco Melandri (ITA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.2732015 Jere MotoGP Qualifying Photo Gallery:
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.