Jorge Lorenzo is predicting another titanic tussle with compatriot Dani Pedrosa for the victory in tomorrow’s San Marino Grand Prix. The Yamaha rider was pipped to pole by Pedrosa on Saturday but was happy with the way his bike improved as the qualifying session unfolded, something he hopes will continue into tomorrow.

“The session was really hard as it was our first dry one. I struggled at the beginning to get the pace as we only had that hour of dry conditions. At the end I was able to get much better every lap and improved the bike a little bit. In the end we missed pole by such a little time. We are very close to Dani so I think everybody is waiting for a big battle tomorrow.”

Teammate Ben Spies will start back on the third row in eighth place after a crash halted his progress midway through the session. The American was forced to go back out on the spare bike and admitted he was never as comfortable as he had been previously.

“It was unfortunate this afternoon, we just got off the line a little and hit a bump in turn one. That was the bike with the set-up we were comfortable with. I had to go out on the other bike and there was no time to change the set up. We still need to make some changes to the other set up for tomorrow as we know we had some things to work on before the crash. I’m actually confident we can go pretty quick but with the way the weekend has been we haven’t had enough dry time yet to finalise a perfect set up.”