Lorenzo delighted with front row start and strong laptimes
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered a stunning performance this afternoon in qualifying to take second on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi. After struggling in the previous sessions for braking stability and maximum lean grip, Lorenzo’s crew made key set up changes which transformed the Mallorcan’s YZR-M1 for the final session. The final minutes of the session saw him smash the pole record of the Motegi circuit with a 1’45.523, only to have first snatched back in the last seconds by rival Casey Stoner.
Jorge Lorenzo Position: 2nd Time: 1’45.523 Laps: 25
“We tried something different this afternoon and our lap times were unbelievable, we almost got pole! The most important thing is the first row because there are riders like Casey who find it easy to escape so I want to be right there. We have improved today but Motegi is still a tough track for Yamaha riders. If the other riders do a perfect race it is almost impossible to win, but anything can happen. Now I can say I am ready for the battle and we will put on a good show for all the Japanese fans who have come to see us race!”
Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager: “We made big steps from the first three practices, Jorge is able to stop the bike properly now so that’s a big improvement. Maximum lean angle grip has also improved so he can now stop the bike and turn and accelerate. We are quite happy; I think we have something to fight with tomorrow which is important. I have to thank the team who worked really hard to make the step forward with the bike.”
Massimo Meregalli, Team Director: “This afternoon we saw some excellent qualifying laps from Jorge, his race pace is also quite fast and consistent. For sure it is going to be a tough race but we are up there.”
Source: Yamaha MotoGP