Shanghai : 250cc – Day Two
The World Champion, current classification leader and favourite for victory in the 250cc race in Shanghai, Jorge Lorenzo, secured pole for the Sinopec Great Wall Lubricants Grand Prix of China by a significant 0.742s margin, breaking another lap
record in the process.
The 20 year-old Fortuna Aprilia rider aims to reassert his quarter litre class authority having finished second in the last round in Turkey to 2006 championship runner-up Andrea Dovizioso, and will start in pole position tomorrow as he seeks to extend his current championship lead of 18 points.
A successful second qualifying practice for Lorenzo saw him register a new circuit best lap for the third session in succession, cutting 0.733s from his best Friday time to keep him ahead of his nearest challenger, Hector Barbera, by a similar margin.
Last year's race winner Barbera, Lorenzo's arch rival and former team-mate, was quicker than his compatriot in the opening free practice session yesterday as he demonstrated his competitiveness - and the Team Toth Aprilia man will be right next to the 250 title-holder on the grid.
Completing the front row will be Red Bull KTM's Mika Kallio, who knocked a remarkable 2.394s off his quickest Friday time to jump up the grid to third from 11th, in front of Repsol Honda's Julian Simon who slipped to fourth from provisional second as he was unable to improve on his best lap from yesterday.
On the second row will be last year's Chinese Grand Prix runner-up Dovizioso (Kopron Team Scot), 125cc World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Master – Mapfre Aspar), Swiss rider Thomas Luthi (Emmi – Caffe Latte Aprilia) and Bautista's Aspar team-mate Alex de Angelis, who may have done better had it not been for a crash with Chinese wildcard Shi Zhao Huang.
De Angelis was not reported as seriously injured and is expected to race tomorrow, but the Chinese rider took a heavy knock to his spine and was taken to hospital for scans, meaning that he is likely to miss out.
Kopron Team Scot's Yuki Takahashi also suffered an accident and will take no further part in proceedings as he will fly home to Japan for surgery after damaging a plate in his left forearm which he carries from a previous injury.
DORNA / CAPSIS International