Phillip Island : 250cc - Day One
Jorge Lorenzo was simply too fast for his rivals today and easily clinched the provisional pole position of the Australian GP, thirteenth round of the season.
The Fortuna Aprilia rider dominated the whole day, leading both practice and
qualifying sessions, and made a big impression by setting a fastest lap of 1'33''215.
That feat was never matched, not even threatened, as Lorenzo pulled a seven tenths of a second gap between himself and his closest rival Sylvain Guintoli.
That was unexpected to see the Frenchman challenge the series leader aboard his privateer Aprilia and lead a number of factory riders on the timesheet. Guintoli though lapped consistently throughout the day and concluded ahead of Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) and Hiroshi Aoyama (KTM).
Title contender Andrea Dovizioso came fifth, a second off Lorenzo's time. Barbera, Smrz and Simoncelli joined him on the provisional second row. Local rider Anthony West managed to qualify in the top ten and heads for now the third row, in front of Shuhei Aoyama, Dirk Heidolf and Arturo Tizon.
Italians Manuel Poggiali and Roberto Locatelli struggled around the high-rated Phillip Island circuit and set the fifteenth and sixteenth fastest times.
While this is sort of becoming an habit for the KTM rider, that is a far more unusual counter-performance for the Aprilia Toth rider who lies fifth in the championship and leads the privateer standings.
Alessio Palumbo failed to qualify. Martin Cardenas, for his part, couldn't take part to the session and had to withdraw from the event following a crash in the morning practice. Exams at the Clinica Mobile revealed he had re-broken his collarbone and he should also be out of the Japanese GP next week.
Sandrine BOUCHARD © CAPSIS International