Closing in on Anton Mang's record
Jorge Lorenzo continued an impeccable weekend at Phillip Island as he extended his domination of the 250cc Australian Grand Prix throughout all four practice sessions and clinched his ninth pole of the season – the eleventh in total for
Fortuna Aprilia this year.
It means the Spaniard now lies just one pole off the current record set by Anton Mang in 1981 on a Kawasaki. Today Lorenzo was the only rider to break the 1'33 barrier, his lap of 1'32.717 some six tenths inside his morning effort but still six tenths off pole record here.
The series leader was consistently in the 1'33 mark whilst his rivals remained in 1'34s and he ended the session with almost a full second gap over closest rival Alex de Angelis. His main title challenger Andrea Dovizioso was fourth.
Héctor Barberá was unable to improve on his provisional qualifying time, meanwhile, and will start from the second row. The Spaniard is hoping to use tomorrow's warm-up to solve his set-up problems.
JORGE LORENZO, 1st (1'32.717).
“It's been a good weekend but to turn that into excellent we have to finish the job off tomorrow, when the points are shared out. This is the World Championship and it is very tight, and it wasn't easy to get that margin over the rest. The bike is working perfectly and I want to say thanks to Aprilia because the engine is excellent and they are doing a great job to help me win this title. I would have liked to beat Porto's record but it wasn't possible. In any case I'm happy because I have a good pace for the race.
I think it will be a tough one and we will have to be intelligent, get a good start and avoid any surprises. We're on the right lines and I want to confirm that in the race.”
HECTOR BARBERA, 7th (1.34.267)
“I'm worried because we haven't solved these set-up problems. I can't get the bike on the line I want because I'm not confident with the front end and the rear feels like it's going to throw me in the air at any moment. These are not new setbacks because we've had them at other small tracks with elevations changes like Donington, Sachsenring and now Phillip Island. We've tried almost everything without success. Now we just have the warm-up to try for a miracle and I'll sep fighting, even though we are not where we want to be and other riders have an advantage at the moment.”