Nine points are all that separate Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo from teammate Valentino Rossi, and the Spaniard is in the most optimal position to start Sunday’s 22-lap Czech Republic Grand Prix – first.Lorenzo piloted his YZR-M1 to a new fastest lap around the 3.36-mile Brno circuit during 2015 Brno MotoGP Qualifying, becoming the first and only rider to break the 1:55 barrier. The two-time MotoGP Champion posted a best lap of 1:54.989, ousted the previous pole record set by Cal Crutchlow in 2013 (1:55.527). After topping 2015 Brno MotoGP Qualifying, Lorenzo earned his 31st MotoGP-career pole, and his first at Brno since 2010.
Joining Lorenzo on the front row are two-time reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who trailed by 0.074 of a second, and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who was 0.364 of a second off the pace.“I am really proud of my two lap times, because the first one was as impressive as the second but just not enough to make the pole position. In the end I had to improve the lap time by two or three tenths to keep an advantage over Marc. I didn‘t expect my time, but I didn’t expect those from Marc or even Valentino either, but everyone was pushing so much and they improved a lot,” Jorge Lorenzo says.“My pole position lap was very good, almost perfect, except maybe the last corner wasn‘t because I had a lot of wheel spin, but a perfect lap is impossible, so we have to be very satisfied. I am confident for tomorrow because I think we have a great base setting. We will see tomorrow what the weather is like, how our rivals are doing after some laps, but we are confident.”Winning the last two rounds at Sachsenring and Indy, Repsol Honda’s Marquez has regained much momentum. Marquez, who now is third in points, 56 behind Rossi, won at Brno in 2013, but only managed fourth last season.The current points leader Rossi suffered his first crash of 2015 MotoGP during free practice when Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V spilled some fork oil on the Brno circuit. Though fast he couldn’t match the speeds of his teammate and Marquez.Heading up row two is Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone. The Italian had received a revised version of the Desmosedici GP15 with a new engine and fairing, but stuck with the older model throughout qualifying.Joining Iannone on row two are Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith – the top satellite rider – and the other Ducati GP15 rider, Andrea Dovizioso.Qualifying on row three are Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Pedrosa, who is a bit bruised from FP2 crash due to fork oil leaking from his RC213V.CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow had to settle for tenth, after he was also forced to battle it out in Q1. The British rider will start from the front of the fourth row, with Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera in 11th on the leading Open class bike after he made it directly through to Q2 for the first time this season. Octo Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez, who also made it through automatically to Q2, completes the fourth row, MotoGP reports.Scott Redding will start from 14th on the grid after failing to make it through to Q2, while Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) is the leading Open Honda rider in 20th, MotoGP reports.As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden qualified 21st, 1.433 off the pace.For more on the Czech Republic GP, visit 2015 Brno MotoGP Preview.
2015 Brno MotoGP Qualifying Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’54.989 2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’55.063 3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’55.353SECOND ROW4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1’55.390 5. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’55.460 6. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’55.935THIRD ROW7. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’55.954 8. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’55.955 9. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’55.969FOURTH ROW10. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1’56.192 11. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’56.399 12. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing 1’56.739FIFTH ROW13. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing 1’56.713 14. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’56.765 15. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’56.806SIXTH ROW16. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.133 17. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’57.215 18. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing 1’57.540SEVENTH ROW19. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.552 20. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’57.634 21. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’57.645EIGHTH ROW22. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1’57.855 23. Alex De Angelis (RSM) E-Motion IodaRacing Team 1’58.599 24. Claudio Corti (ITA) Forward Racing 1’59.145NINTH ROW25. Karel Abraham (CZE) AB Motoracing 1’59.903
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!