Lorenzo Takes Portuguese Pole

Cycle News Staff | October 3, 2009

Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo held off his teammate Valentino Rossi to earn his fifth pole position of the MotoGP season today at Estoril in Portugal, the Spaniard topping the Italian by .260 of a second in final qualifying for tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix.The pole was a record setting one Yamaha as it marked the company’s 11th pole position of the season (six for Rossi, five for Lorenzo). The pole was Lorenzo’s first since July when he sat on pole for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”It’s been quite a few races since I’ve had a pole,” Lorenzo said in a team release. “I was getting a bit worried because doing one fast lap has always been one of my strong points, but lately we haven’t been able to be quite competitive enough with the soft tire. This weekend however everything is working really well and the setting with both tires is great, so I was able to go out and do some very fast laps. Tomorrow is another day and we know that everyone will be strong, so we will just try and push to the limit and see what happens.”Casey Stoner’s return to MotoGP racing has thus far been successful with the Australian putting the factory Marlboro Ducati on the front row for tomorrow’s race. He was just .314 of a second slower than Lorenzo in the session.Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa lost out to Stoner on that final front row starting spot by .174 of a second as those two battle for third in the World Championship. Pedrosa leads Stoner, who has missed the last three races with illness, by seven points going into tomorrow’s Grand Prix.Fifth went to Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards, the Texan holding off LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet by .306 of a second.Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi ended up seventh with Repso Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso eighth. Nicky Hayden ended up ninth on the second Marlboro Ducati with Pramac Ducati’s Mika Kallio rounding out the top 10.

Final Qualifying

1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:36.214

2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:36.474

3. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:36.528

4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:36.702

5. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:37.1426

6. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:37.448

7. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki)1:37.489

8. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:37.541

9. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:37.654

10. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1:37.813