Jorge Lorenzo took a giant step towards the 2015 MotoGP world championship with a sensational pole position at Valencia. The Spaniard rode, by his own admission, “the best lap of his life” to claim pole by half a second from the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa while championship leader Valentino Rossi had a session to forget.
With tension at an all-time high, a dramatic session was guaranteed but Q1 provided the wrong kind of action with Maverick Vinales suffering a horrendous highside exiting turn three. The Spaniard landed heavily on his head but, heroically, still managed to navigate his way into Q2 and secure eleventh spot on the grid.
Marquez made the brightest start to Q2 with a 1:30.499, the quickest lap of the weekend so far, and it looked as though his rivals would struggle to match it until Lorenzo ventured out for his second run. Without the slightest sign of a mistake, the Yamaha rider rode an inch-perfect lap to clock a 1:30.011, securing the most important pole position of his career.
The news of his teammate’s pole position would not have helped Valentino Rossi’s mood but a crash at turn eight on his final lap added to the misery. In the session itself, the Italian was only twelfth but in truth, it was merely academic with ‘The Doctor’ relegated to the back of tomorrow’s grid, leaving him 26th.
Aleix Espargaro produced one of the day’s standout performances to qualify fourth despite starting in Q1 while British pair Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith will join him on the second row. Andrea Iannone starts seventh on the leading Ducati ahead of Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso while Danilo Petrucci rounds out the top ten.
2015 GP MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA: STARTING GRID
|1||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:30.011|
|2||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:30.499|
|3||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:30.516|
|4||41. Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:30.917|
|5||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda||1:30.948|
|6||38. Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:31.012|
|7||29. Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:31.056|
|8||44. Pol Espargaro||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:31.080|
|9||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:31.245|
|10||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||1:31.292|
|11||25. Maverick Vinales||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:31.340|
|12||51. Michele Pirro||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:31.780|
|13||6. Stefan Bradl||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:31.824|
|14||8. Hector Barbera||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:31.851|
|15||76. Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||1:31.856|
|16||69. Nicky Hayden||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:32.083|
|17||68. Yonny Hernandez||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||1:32.142|
|18||19. Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:32.282|
|19||45. Scott Redding||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||1:32.448|
|20||43. Jack Miller||Honda||LCR Honda||1:32.564|
|21||63. Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:32.716|
|22||13. Anthony West||Honda||AB Motoracing||1:33.049|
|23||50. Eugene Laverty||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:33.066|
|24||24. Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||1:33.092|
|25||23. Broc Parkes||ART||E-Motion IodaRacing Team||1:33.577|
|26||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Grid Penalty|