Lorenzo smashes circuit record to seal Jerez pole

Jorge Lorenzo romped to a first pole position of the MotoGP season after a stunning performance in qualifying at Jerez, breaking the lap record in the process.

Lorenzo smashes circuit record to seal Jerez pole
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Pol Espargaro, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki MotoGP

After setting the pace during the first round of flying laps, Lorenzo set two times good enough for pole in the closing stages, extending his advantage with a 1m38.243s before smashing the outright lap record with a scintillating 1m37.910s.

Marc Marquez was the Yamaha rider's nearest challenger, recovering from a lowside crash in final practice to seal second place with a 1m38.300s - which put the Repsol Honda rider within half a tenth of pole until Lorenzo's searing final effort.

A late surge handed the last slot on the front row to Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who set the pace in final practice but was 0.558s slower than Lorenzo, demoting Tech 3 rider Pol Espargaro to fourth ahead of the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro.

Cal Crutchlow will start seventh after a somewhat disappointing session, with the third row being completed by Andrea Dovizioso aboard the second works Ducati and Yonny Hernandez, who came through the first part of qualifying along with Pramac Ducati teammate Danilo Petrucci.

The Italian will start from the fourth row between a pair of Brits, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith - another rider to suffer an off in final practice - going 10th quickest and Marc VDS Honda rider Scott Redding taking 12th.

Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales was visibly frustrated when he blew his chance of making it through into Q2 with a trip through the gravel, and will line up in 14th behind the lead Open class bike of compatriot Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati).

Qualifying results:

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m37.910
Marc Marquez Honda 0.390
Andrea Iannone Ducati 0.558
Pol Espargaro Yamaha 0.629
Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0.722
Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 0.728
Cal Crutchlow Honda 0.804
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.913
Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1.554
10  Bradley Smith Yamaha 1.581
11  Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1.879
12  Scott Redding Honda 1.915
13  Hector Barbera Ducati Q1
14  Maverick Vinales Suzuki Q1
15  Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Q1
16  Hiroshi Aoyama Honda Q1
17  Eugene Laverty Honda Q1
18  Nicky Hayden Honda Q1
19  Stefan Bradl Forward Yamaha Q1
20  Karel Abraham Honda Q1
21  Loris Baz Forward Yamaha Q1
22  Jack Miller Honda Q1
23  Mike Di Meglio Ducati Q1
24  Alex de Angelis ART Q1
25  Marco Melandri Aprilia Q1
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Lorenzo dominates third MotoGP free practice session at Jerez
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