Valencia MotoGP Qualifying: Lorenzo on Pole; Rossi Crashes

Valencia MotoGP Qualifying: Lorenzo on Pole; Rossi Crashes
Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo

2015 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results

Valencia MotoGP Qualifying: Lorenzo on Pole; Rossi Crashes
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo

Ahead of 2015 Valencia MotoGP qualifying, two stories were trending – the separation of a mere seven points between championship leader Valentino Rossi and his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Jorge Lorenzo, and Rossi having to start from last on the grid due to accruing four penalty points this season.

But now two more stories have joined the trending – Lorenzo’s record pole at Valencia, and Rossi’s crash during qualifying.

First Lorenzo; as the 28-year-old Spaniard chases his third MotoGP title, he put in the extra effort during qualifying for the 2015 MotoGP season finale at Valencia.

Lorenzo, who also led Friday’s free practice sessions, set a new best lap of 1:30.011. He was nearly a half-second quicker than the remaining riders on the 26-rider grid. Joining Lorenzo on the front row are the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa; Marquez trailed by 0.488 of a second, and Pedrosa by 0.505.

Jorge Lorenzo says: “Today’s goal was to qualify on first row, but there was a lot of tension. I expected that Andrea Iannone’s bike with the soft tire could steal the first row, so I put in the maximum effort at the track with the three tires and that is what I did. I wasn’t very satisfied with the first one, 1:30.9s wasn’t the lap time I expected, but with the second one the bike worked perfectly with the grip, the braking, the corner speed and the acceleration.

“I rode better than on the previous lap and I got pole. It probably was my best lap in all my life and I’m very proud, but the important thing is to start from front row, make a good start tomorrow, don‘t make any mistakes and avoid problems on the first laps and try to get the World Title. Today they didn’t give out points, the contest is tomorrow and it‘s going to be a difficult, long and stressful race.”

Rossi’s story was much different. As the nine-time World Champion was steadily increasing his pace, he suffered a minor crash in the final moments of 2015 Valencia Qualifying. Rossi qualified 12th, but must start from the back of the grid due to receiving four penalty points this season – one at Misano for slowing Lorenzo down during qualifying, and three two weeks ago at Sepang for the controversial clash with Marquez.

Rossi appealed the three-point penalty, but was denied by Race Direction.

Valentino Rossi Crash at Valencia MotoGP Qualifying
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi says: “I’m OK, this is the most important thing. The day was not so bad, especially in the morning I was strong, but in the afternoon I suffered a bit more with the grip and I struggled a little bit more with a higher temperature. After, in qualifying, we didn‘t have the pressure to try to set the best lap so we tried something else. Some modifications I didn‘t like so I came back in and on my last lap it wasn‘t so bad, my first sections were quite fast, but unfortunately after that I made a mistake and

“I crashed, but this doesn’t make a big difference for tomorrow because I will start last. We have to improve the grip to improve the race pace. If it’s cool, lower degrees can change a lot of things about the grip in comparison between a Yamaha and a competing bike. Maybe, if the temperature is a little bit less, I can go a bit faster. It will be very hard, the bad news for the race is that Jorge rode to pole position, because we hoped he wouldn’t start first, but fortunately we don’t have to think about that, it’s not our problem, I just have to recover as much as possible.”

In other qualifying news, Team Suzuki Excstar’s Aleix Espargaro qualified on top of the second row in fourth. He will be joined by CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith.

The third row consists of Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

The 2015 MotoGP season finale at Valencia will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 Sunday, November 8, with coverage beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET.

2015 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results:


1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’30.011
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’30.499
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’30.516


4. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’30.917
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1’30.948
6. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’31.012


7. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1’31.056
8. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’31.080
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’31.245


10. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing 1’31.292
11. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’31.340
12. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.471


13. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Team 1’31.780
14. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.824
15. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’31.851


16. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing 1’31.856
17. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’32.083
18. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing 1’32.142


19. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’32.282
20. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’32.448
21. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1’32.564


22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’32.716
23. Anthony West (AUS) AB Motoracing 1’33.049
24. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’33.066


25. Toni Elias (SPA) Forward Racing 1’33.092
26. Broc Parkes (AUS) E-Motion IodaRacing Team 1’33.577