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Phillip Island MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo on pole despite seagull clash

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, Phillip Island MotoGP 2013

Jorge Lorenzo denied Marc Marquez pole position for the Phillip Island MotoGP race in a superb qualifying battle.

Lorenzo's pole came despite a collision with a seagull on his first run of Q2.

As the resurfaced track offered sufficient grip for record laptimes, Lorenzo put in a 1m28.527s on his opening pole shot.

That time was achieved even though his Yamaha collected an unfortunate seagull during the lap, with the bird's remains lodged in the bike's fairing for the rest of the run.

Lorenzo's first time was not sufficient to resist Marquez, who then stole provisional pole with a 1m28.384s.

The Honda rider extended his margin as he did a 1m28.120s when he went out for a second run at the end of the session.

But Lorenzo was not defeated yet. Now without the seagull attached, be blasted in a 1m27.899s to take pole back again.

He then hinted at an even better time on a second lap before running out of tyre grip.

Lorenzo must prevent Marquez from outscoring him by eight points in Sunday's race to keep the championship alive.

Valentino Rossi continued his strong weekend as he put the second works Yamaha on the front row, albeit seven and a half tenths slower than his team-mate.

Despite setting the pace in practice three and four, Dani Pedrosa could only manage fifth, behind Gresini's Alvaro Bautista.

Tech 3 duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith were next up, separated by just 0.132s in a strong performance by the rookie.

Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone both had to battle through Q1 in order to line up behind eighth-placed Nicky Hayden.

CRT produced the upset practice had suggested was possible, as Aleix Espargaro was overshadowed by Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet.

Espargaro failed to get beyond Q1, having a spat with Yonny Hernandez along the way, as Edwards and de Puniet progressed to the final segment of qualifying.

Both crashed once they got there, with Edwards doing enough to beat de Puniet to 11th before his fall at the final corner.

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike             Time       Gap
 1.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                1m27.899s
 2.  Marc Marquez      Honda                 1m28.120s  +0.221s
 3.  Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                1m28.647s  +0.748s
 4.  Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda         1m28.713s  +0.814s
 5.  Dani Pedrosa      Honda                 1m28.748s  +0.849s
 6.  Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m28.809s  +0.910s
 7.  Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha         1m28.941s  +1.042s
 8.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati                1m29.295s  +1.396s
 9.  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                1m29.660s  +1.761s
10.  Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati         1m29.756s  +1.857s
11.  Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m30.264s  +2.365s
12.  Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia         1m30.735s  +2.836s
13.  Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia         1m30.081s  Q1
14.  Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki  1m30.530s  Q1
15.  Yonny Hernandez   Pramac Ducati         1m30.641s  Q1
16.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m30.733s  Q1
17.  Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m30.894s  Q1
18.  Michael Laverty   PBM Aprilia           1m30.979s  Q1
19.  Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki  1m31.061s  Q1
20.  Luca Scassa       Cardion Aprilia       1m31.093s  Q1
21.  Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda     1m31.775s  Q1
22.  Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW        1m32.474s  Q1
23.  Damian Cudlin     PBM-Aprilia           1m33.007s  Q1
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