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Sepang MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo claims pole after spectacular fight

Jorge Lorenzo SepangJorge Lorenzo claimed his third consecutive MotoGP pole position by coming out on top of a spectacular late fight in Malaysia.

Going into the closing minutes of Sepang qualifying, championship leader Lorenzo was down in fourth, and facing the possibility of starting behind not only his title rival Dani Pedrosa, but the latter's Honda team-mate Casey Stoner and Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Pedrosa had been the pacesetter for most of qualifying, before Tech 3 Yamaha's Dovizioso became the first man to go for a proper pole shot and hit the front.

Pedrosa soon reclaimed first place, although Dovizioso fought back and produced a 2m00.567s to return to provisional pole with his final flying lap.

That was swiftly beaten by Pedrosa's 2m00.528s, but Lorenzo was going even quicker and delivered a 2m00.434s.

Even though that would have been sufficient for pole, with no one looking set to beat it, Lorenzo still stayed out for another lap and improved to a 2m00.334s to put matters beyond doubt.

Dovizioso retained third ahead of Stoner, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies.

Hector Barbera showed his best form since his injury absence to take seventh on the Pramac Ducati. The works Desmosedicis were only ninth (Nicky Hayden) and 11th (Valentino Rossi), split by late crasher Alvaro Bautista.

Aleix Espargaro beat his Aspar team-mate Randy de Puniet in the CRT fight.

Pos  Rider               Team/Bike             Time        Gap
 1.  Jorge Lorenzo       Yamaha                2m00.334s
 2.  Dani Pedrosa        Honda                 2m00.528s   + 0.194s
 3.  Andrea Dovizioso    Tech 3 Yamaha         2m00.567s   + 0.233s
 4.  Casey Stoner        Honda                 2m00.811s   + 0.477s
 5.  Cal Crutchlow       Tech 3 Yamaha         2m01.178s   + 0.844s
 6.  Ben Spies           Yamaha                2m01.185s   + 0.851s
 7.  Hector Barbera      Pramac Ducati         2m01.294s   + 0.960s
 8.  Stefan Bradl        LCR Honda             2m01.491s   + 1.157s
 9.  Nicky Hayden        Ducati                2m01.526s   + 1.192s
10.  Alvaro Bautista     Gresini Honda         2m01.640s   + 1.306s
11.  Valentino Rossi     Ducati                2m01.783s   + 1.449s
12.  Aleix Espargaro     Aspar Aprilia         2m02.842s   + 2.508s
13.  Randy de Puniet     Aspar Aprilia         2m03.389s   + 3.055s
14.  Karel Abraham       Cardion Ducati        2m03.774s   + 3.440s
15.  Michele Pirro       Gresini FTR-Honda     2m04.152s   + 3.818s
16.  James Ellison       Paul Bird Aprilia     2m04.515s   + 4.181s
17.  Danilo Petrucci     Ioda Suter-BMW        2m04.726s   + 4.392s
18.  Colin Edwards       Forward Suter-BMW     2m04.941s   + 4.607s
19.  Roberto Rolfo       Speed Master Aprilia  2m05.100s   + 4.766s
20.  Ivan Silva          Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  2m05.921s   + 5.587s
21.  Yonny Hernandez     Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  -           -
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