Lorenzo secures front row grid spot in challenging Austin qualifying
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo took third position in the first ever qualifying session for the Grand Prix of The Americas today at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin Texas.
The MotoGP World Champion was quick to find pace on his first time attack in the new format 15 minute qualifying heat, taking provisional pole briefly with ten minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately a mistimed trip through pit lane as the last minutes died away left him unable to mount another hot lap. The result sees Lorenzo take the third position on the front row of the grid next to rival Dani Pedrosa.
Team mate Valentino Rossi continued to struggle under braking today and was unable to find a set up for his YZR-M1 that would enable a challenge for the front row. The Italian pushed hard through the final practice and subsequent qualifying session, eventually settling for eighth position on the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd, Time – 2’04.100
“What happened in qualifying is more or less what happened in all the sessions, the Hondas, Marc and Dani in particular, are much more fast than us in pace and on a fast lap. Our best position we could do today was third. Tomorrow in the race anything could happen. If something strange happens we can fight for the win but in normal conditions third is a really good position for tomorrow. We hope that the race is going to be better than qualifying and we can be closer to Marc and Dani.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“The front row is very good so we are satisfied with that, I think it was the maximum for today. The last tyre didn’t go well in qualifying, Jorge ended up in a group so he went in to the pit lane and didn’t realise we didn’t have enough time for another time attack. At the moment we are just one metre from pole position. The race is tomorrow and the bike is behaving ok so lets see what we can do as It’s quite clear we don’t have the advantage we had in Qatar. Anything can happen, the fast guys can make mistakes and the race is a long one, you have to stay focused and Jorge is very good at doing that.”