Jorge Lorenzo takes third in Rio Hondo qualifying
Doubts on tyre choice at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit today didn‘t slow down Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying. He gave a solid performance during the tense 15-minute session, taking third on the grid.
Tension ran high in the paddock today as the fourth free practice session was red-flagged and re-started twice, due to safety conditions after Scott Redding had an incident whilst riding with the softer option, medium rear tyre.
When the FP4 session was restarted for the second time, Lorenzo headed out for the final four minutes of the session, but a slide down the track in turn one meant he was forced to start ’Qualifying 2‘ on his second bike.
Despite the earlier commotion the Majorcan kept his trademark focus when the 15-minute qualifying session kicked off. He was the first rider to come out of the box and needed little time to put the hammer down. His first hot lap was a 1‘40.574s for provisional second place and he immediately returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre with more than nine minutes left on the clock.
The current World Champion was pushed back to fifth and found a clear space on the track for his second attempt to improve his starting position. Dropping a hot lap of 1‘40.140, he shot up to third place in the standings to make a second stop with four minutes of the session remaining.
A little more than a minute later he made his way out of pit lane and had just enough time left for a final try. At the time holding fourth place, he dropped a hot lap of 1‘39.944s to reclaim third position, 0,533s off the front.
Today we got a better day overall and we could make some important improvements with the set up and especially the track improved a lot so we had a very good first session. Unfortunately in the afternoon during FP4 a tyre issue put the session on stand by, due to the red flag and after that I crashed so we lost the opportunity to swap the bikes in the qualifying, but despite this the first row was the main goal and we were able to achieve it so I‘m quite satisfied. Let‘s see what happens with the tyre allocation for the race, but I think we are ready to fight. I would like maybe to use the medium tyre. If we have to ride with the harder option we will have less grip but we will do well.”