Rossi grabs pole on Lorenzo’s home turf

Valentino Rossi has claimed pole position ahead of the Spanish MotoGP in Jerez, topping the session in the closing moments to seal top spot.

The Italian veteran bettered team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, knocking Marc Marquez out of pole before Lorenzo too got the better of the Honda rider.

Lorenzo had been quickest in practice, and was favourite to claim pole before Rossi’s lap.

It’s the 37-year-old’s first pole position since Assen last year and, according to Rossi, shows the improvements he’s made in his single lap pace.

“Last year we struggled too much during qualifying,” Rossi admitted.

“It looks like this year I’m strong in the qualifying compared to last year, because last year it was one of my weak points with the Bridgestone, with the Michelin I feel better.

“I’ve been on the front row also for the last two Grands Prix, but to be on pole position is another taste.”

Lorenzo meanwhile was also pointing fingers at the Michelin rubber, suggesting a tyre issue cost him in qualifying.

“We got a defective tyre,” he claimed.

“The tyre was chattering on the rear so we have to cancel the lap.

“It’s a pity, no, because three stints would be better than two. But finally – I didn’t feel great with the soft tyre.

“Finally I lose the pole position, but I think for the race we are quite well with the pace.”

It follows from an unusual situation where practice was delayed after five of Michelin’s ten tyre fitters were struck down with illness and unable to work.

Elsewhere Aussie Jack Miller qualified 19th on the Marc VDS Honda, two spots better than team-mate Tito Rabat who brings up the rear of the grid.

Motorsport news courtesy of Velocity Magazine; Australia’s leading monthly motorsport magazine. Buy online at vmag.com.au

About the author

Mat Coch

Mat is a contributor and looks after the motorsport content for the website. Based in Sydney but widely travelled, Mat Coch began reporting on Formula One in the mid-2000s. In the last decade he has contributed to websites and magazines globally and in 2014 he founded Velocity, Australia’s only monthly motorsport magazine. Passionate about motorsport, Mat is an expert on Formula One.

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