Jorge Lorenzo’s excellent second season in MotoGP continued at his home GP on Saturday as he took pole at the Circuit de Catalunya, the Spaniard qualifying just 0.013s ahead of Valentino Rossi.
The MotoGP qualifying session at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya concluded with home rider Jorge Lorenzo securing his third pole position of 2009 in sweltering heat close to the Mediterranean coast.
The Fiat Yamaha star pleased the crowd in his special edition Barcelona FC livery securing the top slot on the grid with a 1’41.974 time on the 28th of 29 laps, putting him just ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi by a 0.013s margin.
Having never been off the podium in the premier class at Montmeló Rossi will be confident of maintaining that remarkable record on Sunday, though he knows he will have to be at his best to beat his talented young Spanish colleague.
Completing the front row is Casey Stoner as MotoGP’s current trio of form riders showed their strengths once again, the Australian Ducati Marlboro representative lapping just under a half a second down on Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso is the ‘nearly man’ in the premier class at present and he missed out on the front row by just 0.168s on his Repsol Honda factory RC212V. Nonetheless the Italian will try to fight for the podium having just fallen short at the last two rounds.
In fifth place at his home track, not traditionally his strongest circuit, Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will aim to improve his poor Barcelona record from the middle of the front row, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) ended up sixth and might have done better had he not crashed towards the end of the session.
Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) has looked good so far this weekend and he qualified seventh, just in front of home hero Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) who also suffered a crash in the final moments – landing on his injured right hip, but not appearing to sustain any further damage as he walked away from the incident.
The top ten was rounded off by Englishman James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Finnish rider Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing), both northern Europeans doing well to deal with the ambient temperatures of 38°C.