“I can't believe I'm here again !”
Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo made it an incredible three poles from three MotoGP starts with another masterful qualifying display in Portugal this afternoon.
Estoril was one of only two circuits on the calendar at which
the outstanding rookie had never before claimed a pole position, but he put that behind him in impressive style today to smash the previous record by nearly half a second.
After changeable weather conditions yesterday, today was a much more settled affair and the sunny conditions allowed the riders to vastly improve on yesterday's lap times this morning, with Lorenzo finishing second fastest.
Towards the end of this afternoon's session the chase for qualifying times got underway and the Spaniard's first Michelin qualifying tyre saw him take provisional pole. He then went on to improve on both of his next qualifying runs, despite dropping time in the middle section on his second tyre when briefly caught behind a slower rider. On his final soft tyre he produced an inch-perfect lap of 1'35.715 to seal a hat-trick of MotoGP pole positions and the 29th of his Grand Prix career in total.
Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi also had a good afternoon and will line up on the outside of the front row tomorrow, with Dani Pedrosa in between the Fiat Yamaha pair, whilst Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland, on his first visit to the track, take fifth and sixth spots to make it four Yamaha riders in the top six.
Jorge Lorenzo :
“Each pole position has felt like a dream and I can't believe I am here again! I am very proud to have a record like this and in fact I'm especially happy to have qualified in front here because this track has always been quite difficult for me and I've never been on pole at it before. Our race pace is quite good and now the aim for tomorrow will be to make the most of my starting position, stay at the front and hopefully fight for the win. It's going to be a hard race and there are many strong riders, but I am looking forward to it. Our aim is to try to win but if that's not possible then the podium will be okay; it's still only my third race and I am still learning all the time! Anyway, I feel good on my bike and tyres, the team have done a great job and now we just have to cross our fingers for good weather tomorrow!”
Daniele Romagnoli :
“Once again it's been another very exciting qualifying session to watch this afternoon and Jorge has done another fantastic job. We made some small changes from yesterday to improve our base set-up and today we've had a fast and consistent race pace. Then this afternoon Michelin gave Jorge the chance to fly and he took full advantage! It's great to be on pole as it gives us the best chance at the start and we will do our very best to maximise this chance to produce a good result tomorrow.”