Lorenzo pipped for pole in San Marino

Jorge Lorenzo delivered a scorching pace at the Misano circuit yesterday to take second place on the grid in qualifying for the Grand Prix of San Marino.

The reigning World Champion had continued to benefit from the hard work of his crew in the final morning free practice, holding second for most of the session to finally finish third just 0.323 from first. Lorenzo dominated the afternoon’s qualifying session, starting as the fastest rider from the outset before dropping to second with a gap of 0.578 to pole with 11 minutes to go. An extra burst of speed saw him drop the gap to a mere 0.120 seconds behind Casey Stoner on pole.

Ben Spies had a more challenging qualifying than his team mate today, spending the final free practice and subsequent qualifying working to improve rear grip levels on his YZR-M1. A last minute effort saw him deliver a fourth place grid start just off the front row, 0.809 from pole. The team will now work overnight to find an improvement for warm up to provide the best possible set up for the race.

Jorge Lorenzo: "Today has been a good day for us. We wanted pole position but the first row is a good start for tomorrow. We have tried some things today and in QP we could almost always be in front. The bike is very good after all the great work of my crew and we have a fast pace. I think we can be competitive tomorrow and try to finish in front of Casey so that's our aim. The weather conditions are being very tough this weekend, it might even rain tomorrow. The race will be very difficult in all aspects."

Ben Spies: “It was honestly a lot tougher than expected this afternoon. I wasn’t really happy with it We’re trying a lot of stuff with the bike and I don’t feel all that bad riding wise, we just don’t have the right setting yet and we’re not comfortable at a few spots on the track. Some are really good, some are really bad. We had to ride way over the limit to be where we were today. I’m glad we got it done and got on the second row but I’m not happy about how many risks I had to take to get there. The bike’s there, we can see it, Jorge’s going fast and I feel good, we just have to get my setting comfortable. We’ve got all night to work on it and see what we can do for tomorrow. “