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Lorenzo Sprints to Second in Mugello Qualifying

Mugello MotoGP_Yamaha & Lorenzo

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo set a scorching pace at Mugello to score second position on the grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premio d’Italia. Teammate Valentino Rossi also put in a solid performance in the close qualifying session, securing eighth.

After showing a stunning pace in Free Practice 3, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo continued his momentum at the Autodromo del Mugello when he secured second position on the grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premio d’Italia. Teammate Valentino Rossi qualified eighth on the grid as the hot action in the close Q2 session left all twelve riders within a second.

Lorenzo was the last rider to make his way out on the circuit for the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat, ensuring him some clear track space. He immediately put the hammer down on his first flying lap of 1’46.808 to take provisional pole, before returning to the pits for fresh rubber.

With six minutes to go he was back on the track as an intense battle got underway for the front row. The four-time World Champion pushed hard to shave a little off his time on his second hot lap, but was pushed back to third due to a flurry of activity at the final stages of the session. However the Spaniard saved the best for last, dropping a 1’46.584 on his final lap to claim second on the grid, 0.095 from pole.

Similar to his teammate, local hero Rossi took his time to leave the pit lane as qualifying got underway, allowing the pack to depart before heading out. Riding with a special helmet that symbolizes how his home fans’ support urges him on, he put in an 1’47.187 on his second flying lap to slot into fifth place.

The Doctor quickly returned to the pits with less than seven minutes on the clock for a new rear tyre. Back on the track, his third flying lap resulted in a better time of 1’46.976 to hold provisional sixth on the second row. He was pushed to ninth as the pace quickened, but the nine-time world champion fought back with a 1’46.923 lap, moving him into eighth place, 0.434s off today’s fastest time.

Jorge Lorenzo

2nd / 1’46.584 / 6 laps

“We must be proud of our performance, because we improved the bike, which has been our goal for today. We had to improve our pace by half a second and maybe we didn’t do that but we did shave off three-tenths. Today has been a great day. We couldn’t get the pole position, but second place is great. The setting of our bike is quite good. We may be losing a little bit in speed on the straight, but on the rest of the track we are ok.”

Valentino Rossi

8th / 1’46.923 / 8 laps

“Just like previous races this season, here in Mugello the level, the speed and the lap times are a lot faster than last year. Marquez rode the lap time of the pole position last time and he’s just in thirteenth place, so it’s a big step forward. I improved a lot and my lap time was not so bad, but it wasn’t enough. It looks like the extra soft tyre worked very well, so our competitors who could use this option where very strong. All the top riders were able to improve their pace a lot, so apart from my starting position on the third row, which is not fantastic, I’m quite happy about today. We worked well on the bike and I improved my feeling and my pace. It will be a hard race, but we will see tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“It was a positive second day, especially for Jorge who has been very fast and consistent under all circumstances. It‘s a pity Iannone followed him, else he could have made the pole. To start the race from the first row is really important. Valentino is still looking to make a small step, after that he will be ready for the race too. He has to put in a lot of effort, because starting the race from the third row is not easy, but we know his capabilities. We are quite confident for the race for both riders and are optimistic for tomorrow‘s race. We expect some hot racing action and there will be lots of spectators cheering us on, so we are looking forward to putting on a good show at our home Grand Prix.”

Tech3 pair to contest Mugello battle from the fourth row

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro produced a resolute effort at the twisting and legendary Mugello circuit to qualify in 10th position for the 23 lap race tomorrow. The Spaniard got straight up to speed as soon as the morning session began as he continued to alter the set up of his Yamaha YZR-M1, before clinching 5th at the end of FP3 with a best lap of 1’47.175. Once the tightly contested QP2 session commenced, Espargaro leapt into action and began circulating the track at a rapid pace. His best final time was 1’47.050 which was set on his penultimate lap and resulted in him being only 0.180 back from the second row. He will begin round 6 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship from the head of the fourth row and remains fully intent on seizing a top position to finish the Mugello weekend on a positive note.

On the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Bradley Smith will begin the 30th MotoGP race at the Mugello circuit, from 11th on the grid. The 24 year old rider started the day by closing the FP3 session with a lap time of 1’47.495 that left him in 8th position and able to progress straight through to QP2. Here, the British star pushed hard throughout the session before producing a flying lap of 1’47.090 as the chequered flag fell. This saw him finish just a blink of an eye behind his teammate by 0.040 and additionally, he set the fastest top speed of the Yamaha MotoGP bikes which was 344.2 km/h. Tomorrow, Smith intends to continue his notable form so far in the 2015 MotoGP season and his sights are firmly set on scoring a solid result in order to continue his fight for the lead in the satellite bike standings.

Pol Espargaro

10th / 1’47.050 / 7 laps

“After a qualifying session like today, it’s quite difficult to be positive. However, we know that we gave our maximum and we have to be satisfied with the time as well as the performance of the bike. We did the best we can, but all of the times are really tight and there are many riders in front of us who have soft tyres or other advantages, who shouldn’t be our rivals in the race. We were able to improve the issues that I had to face yesterday and the team did a great job in helping me. Our rhythm is quite promising and we are all set for tomorrow’s race. However, to start from the fourth row is not ideal because in MotoGP, it’s very important to begin the race as close to the front as possible. Nevertheless, I made the best lap that I could so I am satisfied that I gave it everything I had, yet it’s frustrating to end up in 10th. We need to do a little bit of work now as we have found something else that we must amend, yet I am confident we can solve this for tomorrow. I am ready to do my best at Mugello and I know that I need a good start and then I have to make up the places that we lost today in qualifying.”

Bradley Smith

11th / 1’47.090 / 8 laps

“I am certain that I can score a good result in the race tomorrow, despite making things a bit difficult for myself by qualifying in 11th. With the times being so close, it was tough and I didn’t have a perfect lap around the circuit in QP2. We changed the bike quite a lot in FP4 in order to gain a good setup for the race. Yet, when you make big changes, it’s a bit of a gamble, especially for qualifying so it was difficult to extract the best that I could in such a small amount of time, which is why I am back in 11th. However, I still feel confident for the race as the setup we have now is very consistent. Usually my starts are good so tomorrow, I need to have a strong launch and then fight onwards. There’s a lot of open bikes in front of me but at the end of the day, the race is long so I simply need to try and overtake as many riders as I can throughout the race, be smart at the beginning and we will see where we can go from there.”

Bradl a breath away from pole at Mugello

Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz ended the Mugello qualifying in 16th and 18th position respectively. The Tuscan circuit will host the Italian Grand Prix tomorrow.

A good performance by the German rider saw him clock a time of 1’48.047, just 0,069s from Barbera, the leader of the Open category. Bradl will start tomorrow from the sixth row. He has improved his time by over six tenths compared to yesterday and is confident he can fight for victory in his class.

Loris Baz, his teammate, is also satisfied. He was the best Open rider this morning in FP3 and he qualified in 18th position with a time of 1’48.133. The Frenchman has found a good feeling riding the Yamaha Forward and he is aiming at the points-zone for tomorrow.

Stefan Bradl

16th / 1’48.047 / 7 laps

“I am satisfied with the work done so far. I have improved a lot compared to yesterday and we were able to be consistent and quick in qualifying. We lost pole by inches but I’m sure we will be able to fight for the top Open in the race. I’m happy, we changed a lot of settings of the bike and the feeling has really improved. I cannot wait to get on track tomorrow, it will be a good fight with the Ducatis here at Mugello.”

Loris Baz

18th / 1’48.133 / 6 laps

“A good weekend is unfolding for us at Mugello. The track is really nice and we were able to find a good set up to be competitive tomorrow. We made a good step forward with the electronics and, as of today, I found more grip at the rear. I can do better cornering and we have been consistent in qualifying. Tomorrow it will be a long race, I will have to fight with the Ducatis that have proven to be very quick on the long straight”.

2015 MotoGP Italy

Mugello 30/05/2015

1 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’46.489
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’46.584
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’46.610
4 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’46.657
5 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’46.854
6 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’46.870
7 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’46.875
8 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’46.923
9 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 1’46.934
10 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’47.050
11 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’47.090
12 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’47.423
13 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’47.240
14 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 1’47.497
15 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’47.978
16 Stefan Bradl Yamaha DE 1’48.047
18 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 1’48.133

Circuit Length:
5245

Lap Record:
1’47.705
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2012)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’46.489
(Andrea Iannone, 31-5-2015)

Last Years Winner:
Marc Marquez