And fourth place for Jorge Lorenzo
Alex Debon proved to be the surprise package of the first day of qualifying for the Grand Prix of Catalunya as he set provisional pole position for the 250cc race.
The Fortuna Aprilia rider was not planning to take part this weekend
in his role as official test rider for the Aprilia RSW250 but an injury last week for Héctor Barberá meant that he was called into action. Debón, who finished fifth as a wildcard at Mugello two weeks ago, overcame the challenge of the category's regular riders with a time of 1.47.231.
Jorge Lorenzo, meanwhile, was almost six tenths off the pace of his team-mate as he secured the final front row spot in fourth place. The Fortuna Aprilia pair will look to improve these times tomorrow as they sep front row starts for the second race of the season to be held in Spain.
Alex Debon (1st – 1'47.231): "It was a complete surprise to see my name in first place because I've never scored a pole before – not even a provisional one! This year my job was to develop the RSW250 for Aprilia and only compete in three or four races. I feel bad for Héctor but I think I have shown that I can be up there myself on a competitive bike. I'm still not at 100% but I'm lucky to be working with a magnificent team and they will help me to progress."
Jorge Lorenzo (4th – 1'47.
823): "Today went badly and we have a lot of room for improvement because we are a long way off the times I set here during the IRTA Test in February. I'm not yet comfortable on the bike and the problem is that we're still not clear where the solution lies. The track was a little dirty after the rain but I don't think that is why I am so slow. I want to congratulate Alex Debón because he has shown that he can be a top rider when he is given a top machine."