Dani Pedrosa looked to have Jorge Lorenzo covered prior to today’s final qualifying for tomorrow’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, but all that changed this afternoon when Lorenzo stepped it up to earn pole position with a record-setting lap of the Brno Circuit.
Lorenzo’s broke the lap record (set by Valentino Rossi in 2009) early in the session and he stayed at the top of the timesheets for the duration, watching as his rival Pedrosa crashed the lone Repsol Honda. The Spaniard wasn’t hurt and returned on his second bike, but by then he was all the way down in fifth spot. But Pedrosa wasn’t finished yet and he was able to improve to third to grab the final sport on the front row, though he’s .528 of a second off Lorenzo’s best with the Yamaha man breaking the 1:56 barrier with six minutes left in the session.
“We were struggling so much to find the way to set up the bike this morning, we were very lost,” Lorenzo said. “Then we went back to the setting we used the first time we tried the 1000 here in Brno last year and it was great. I really enjoyed riding the bike, sliding more as well with less electronics. I just wanted to stay out on the track and just keep riding and riding to improve the lap time.”
Brit Cal Crutchlow celebrated his new one-year contract with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha by qualifying second, despite crashing in the session. Crutchlow’s best lap, however, came after the crash. He ended up just .196 of a second behind Lorenzo.
The second row for tomorrow’s Grand Prix will be led by Yamaha’s Ben Spies, the Texan coming up just .004 of a second off the front row. Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso will join him on the second row along with sixth-fastest qualifier Valentino Rossi on the factory Ducati. Rossi was the last rider to circulate within a second of Lorenzo’s best.
Row three will consist of Honda LCR’s Stefan Bradl, Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista eighth and home boy Karel Abraham on the Cardion AB Ducati.
Randy de Puniet was the top CRT rider in 10th.
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:55.799
2. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:55.995
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:56.327
4. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:56.331
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:56.559
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:56.735
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:56.827
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:57.068
9. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1:57.773
10. Randy De Puniet (ART) 1:57.844