MotoGP Misano: Jorge Lorenzo takes first pole since May

Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP pole position in four months at Misano in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix

MotoGP Misano: Jorge Lorenzo takes first pole since May

Lorenzo was the man to beat throughout the 15-minute session, lapping nearly half-a-second faster than Marc Marquez on their first flying laps with a 1m32.310s.

The pair both improved on the next time around, Lorenzo to a new lap record of 1m32.076s to maintain a 0.465 second margin over the championship leader when riders returned to the pits.

When they headed back out with five minutes to, the pair played a game of cat-and-mouse exiting pitlane, with Lorenzo reluctant to have Marquez lapping behind him.

It was Marquez who ultimately led the way with Lorenzo dropping further behind, but the Honda rider did not improve on his 1m32.443s lap.

There was still more to come from Lorenzo, and he secured his first pole since the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in May, by improving again on his final tour.

Lorenzo's 1m31.868s is a new lap record and the first sub-1m32s lap around Misano on a MotoGP bike, and the third-straight year he will start the race from pole position.

His Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was a lowly seventh after the first runs, but moved to within 0.266s of Lorenzo after venturing back out.

That effort was cancelled for exceeding track limits at Turn 16, however Rossi improved again on the following lap in the final minute.

Rossi's 1m32.216s initially moved him to within 0.140s of Lorenzo, before Lorenzo's final lap pushed that margin back out to 0.348s.

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales moved up to third in the closing moments, 0.513s slower than the man he will replace at Yamaha in 2017, while Marquez wound up fourth.

With Andrea Iannone ruled out after sustaining a fractured vertebra on Friday, Ducati moved tester Michele Pirro over from his bike to Iannone's on Saturday.

That meant Pirro had to contest the first phase of qualifying, but he progressed safely, and then qualified in fifth place, just 0.024s slower than Marquez and 0.210s up on Ducati regular Andrea Dovizioso in sixth.

Cal Crutchlow was the top satellite rider in seventh for LCR Honda, ahead of Dani Pedrosa, while Aleix Espargaro crashed at Turn 10 in the final minute and wound up ninth, one spot ahead of his brother, Friday pacesetter Pol Espargaro.

Alvaro Bautista gave Aprilia its best qualifying result of the year with 12th, one spot ahead of team-mate Stefan Bradl - who fell one place short of a Q2 berth - while Alex Lowes will start his second MotoGP race from 14th on the grid.

STARTING GRID

Pos Rider Team Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m31.868s -
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m32.216s 0.348s
3 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 1m32.381s 0.513s
4 Marc Marquez Honda 1m32.443s 0.575s
5 Michele Pirro Ducati 1m32.467s 0.599s
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m32.677s 0.809s
7 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1m32.743s 0.875s
8 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m32.859s 0.991s
9 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1m32.918s 1.050s
10 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 1m33.002s 1.134s
11 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1m33.301s 1.433s
12 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1m33.929s 2.061s
13 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1m33.399s 1.531s
14 Alex Lowes Tech3 Yamaha 1m33.635s 1.767s
15 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1m33.716s 1.848s
16 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 1m33.772s 1.904s
17 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m33.989s 2.121s
18 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 1m34.302s 2.434s
19 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 1m34.465s 2.597s
20 Xavi Fores Avintia Ducati 1m35.161s 3.293s
1001 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 1m33.847s 1.979s


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