Lorenzo claims Va­len­cia pole in record time

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

VA­LEN­CIA: Jorge Lorenzo stormed to pole po­si­tion in a cir­cuit record time for to­day’s de­ci­sive Va­len­cia Grand Prix to boost his chances of claim­ing a third Mo­toGP world cham­pi­onship. Lorenzo smashed de­fend­ing world cham­pion Marc Mar­quez’s pre­vi­ous track record by over two tenths of a sec­ond to claim his fifth pole of the sea­son in 1min 30.011sec.

Mar­quez and his Honda team­mate Dani Pe­drosa com­plete the front row with cham­pi­onship leader Valentino Rossi forced to start from the back of the grid as pun­ish­ment for kick­ing Mar­quez off his bike at the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

How­ever, de­spite not need­ing to reg­is­ter a quali­fy­ing time, Rossi still en­dured a tough ses­sion as he came fly­ing off his bike into the gravel track. Thank­fully, the nine-time world cham­pion was able to walk away from the crash as he pre­pares for an as­sault on a record-equalling eighth ti­tle in the pre­mier cat­e­gory of mo­tor­cy­cling.

Lorenzo trails Rossi by just seven points in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings mean­ing the Ital­ian will need to fin­ish sec­ond to deny his Ya­hama team­mate if Lorenzo wins the race.

And Lorenzo hailed his quali­fy­ing lap as the best of his ca­reer as he at­tempts to add to the ti­tles he won in 2010 and 2012. “With­out doubt the best lap of my life,” he said.

“I could try to re­peat it 20, 25, or 30 times and it wouldn’t go so well.

It was per­fect.

“I am very happy, above all be­cause it puts us in a good po­si­tion for to­mor­row. It is im­por­tant to make a good start and try to get away from the Hon­das.”

Mi­nor er­ror

Mar­quez had posted the best time of the week­end on his first quali­fy­ing lap de­spite, by his own ad­mis­sion, com­mit­ting a mi­nor er­ror. How­ever, he ac­knowl­edged that it would have been hard to deny Lorenzo even with a per­fect lap. “With the first tyres I made an er­ror, even though it ended up be­ing my best lap. It could have been even bet­ter, but look­ing at Jorge’s time, I’m not sure it could have been that much bet­ter.” All eyes will be on whether Mar­quez is able to pur­sue Lorenzo af­ter his con­tro­ver­sial clash with Rossi a fort­night ago.

The bad blood be­tween the two started when Rossi ac­cused Mar­quez of con­spir­ing against him to help Lorenzo land the ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix last month.

Rossi then said Mar­quez had “made me lose the cham­pi­onship” when he was slapped with start­ing from the back of the grid af­ter their clash in Sepang. How­ever, Mar­quez in­sisted he will be go­ing for his sixth race vic­tory of the sea­son to­day. “We have had a good Satur­day over­all in terms of the rhythm and num­ber of laps we have done,” he said.

“We will try to be at­ten­tive to Jorge so that he doesn’t es­cape and then we can fight for the win to­wards the end of the race.” — AFP

VA­LEN­CIA: Rep­sol Honda’s Span­ish rider Marc Mar­quez (L), Mo­vis­tar Yamaha’s Span­ish rider Jorge Lorenzo (C) and Rep­sol Honda’s Span­ish rider Dani Pe­drosa pose af­ter the Mo­toGP quali­fy­ing ses­sion on the eve of the Va­len­cia Grand Prix at Ri­cardo Tormo race­track in Cheste, near Va­len­cia yes­ter­day. — AFP

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