Jorge Lorenzo flies to Phillip Island front row
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo qualified third on the grid at a sunny yet slightly chilly Phillip Island circuit for tomorrow‘s Australian Grand Prix, while teammate Valentino Rossi will start the race from seventh position.
Holding the current Circuit Best Lap record of 1’27.899s at Phillip Island, Lorenzo felt confident at the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat and was the last man out on track to avoid traffic.
His first flying lap of 1‘29.034s saw him grab hold of provisional second place until other riders completed their second lap, pushing him back to third. He immediately returned to the pits to continue a three-stint strategy with over nine minutes left.
One and a half minutes later the Spaniard was back out and his second attempt saw him post a 1‘28.839s lap, briefly moving him up to second position, until trailing rival Andrea Iannone took over his place just moments later.
Lorenzo returned to the pit lane for a second bike swap with two and a half minutes of the session remaining. Having been pushed back to fourth, he was back out on track to put the hammer down once more.
While the flag had come out, he posted a 1‘28.680s lap for second position. However, still towing Iannone along, he was pipped at the post by the Italian, who rode an identical lap time, and moved Lorenzo back to third on the leaderboard.
I was a little bit angry after qualifying, because my real position was second place if I could have been on track alone, but with my tow Iannone was very fast here and the Ducati‘s soft tyre for sure helped him to improve two or three tenths of a second and take second from me. This is very important because usually I start better than Marquez, but my starts are the same or maybe even a bit worse than Iannone‘s so this will make the first lap more difficult. We will have to be patient and know that the race is very long. Little by little I will work my way to the front and fight with Marquez for victory, that‘s my goal. I‘m happy with my last three fast laps, but not so much with the position, but it‘s not so bad in the bigger perspective, because Vale is on the third row.
Source: Yamaha Racing