Jorge Lorenzo will start his home Catalunya GP from the front, taking the pole position just ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi.
Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo scored pole position for the 2009 Catalunya Grand Prix, the MotoGP star edging out teammate Valentino Rossi for the coveted start. Joining the factory Yamaha duo on the front row will be fellow championship rival Casey Stoner, third-fastest aboard his Marlboro Ducati.
Rossi appeared to be set for the pole position, but Lorenzo, sporting a special FC Barcelona livery (city’s soccer team, which recently won the European Cup), spoiled the Doctor’s plans by posting the fastest lap on his penultimate circle of the Montmelo circuit. The advantage was a scant 0.013, with Lorenzo gaining his ground on Rossi in the final section of the track – a series of sharp right hand corners before the finish. Rossi posted the fastest times throughout the remaining track sections.
Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, challenging teammate Dani Pedrosa now as the top Honda rider in the MotoGP championship, was fourth-fastest on Saturday. The Italian rider will lead Row 2 followed by none other than Toni Elias, the Spanish rider whose bold Iberian racing exploits usually either end on the podium or in the gravel. Colin Edwards will start from sixth aboard his Tech 3 Yamaha, the Texas Tornado crashing toward the end of qualifying.
The Doctor figures to keep his Catalunya podium streak intact and will be aiming to get ahead of his teammate at the start.
LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet heads Row 3, followed by factory RC212V pilot Dani Pedrosa and two-times World Superbike champion James Toseland. Pedrosa, who has struggled with injury throughout the year, suffered another low-speed fall in qualifying.
Row 4 is started by Pramac rider and the most impressive rookie thus far in the 2009 class, Mika Kallio. The Finn will line up next the Rizla Suzukis, Loris Capriossi in 11th and Chris Vermeulen in 12th.
Nicky Hayden’s struggles with the factory Ducati continue, the Kentucky Kid starting 13th, fellow Row 5 starters being Honda’s Alex de Angelis and Ducati satellite rider Sete Gibernau.
As for the renegade Kawasaki pilot, Marco Melandri, the Italian’s momentum was slowed by a poor qualifying, having to hold his overall sixth-place in the points from 17th.
MotoGP Catalunya Qualifying Results:
“The heat was incredible today and it’s going to be very tough doing so many laps tomorrow without getting too tired! I’m so happy to be here on pole in front of my home fans at this track, which I really love. Tomorrow is going to be a very difficult race for everyone and I am expecting a very good fight with Valentino, who has a very strong pace. It looks like Stoner and Dovizioso will be there too so I hope it’s an exciting race for the fans! I have a good rhythm here and I feel very comfortable on the bike so I am just going to stay focused and think about having a great race.”
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’41.974
2 Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’41.987 +0.013
3 Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’42.426 +0.452
4 Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’42.594 +0.62
5 Toni Elias (Honda) 1’43.139 +1.165
6 Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’43.168 +1.194
7 Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1’43.175 +1.201
8 Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’43.207 +1.233
9 James Toseland (Yamaha) 1’43.233 +1.259
10 Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1’43.336 +1.362
11 Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1’43.365 +1.391
12 Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1’43.411 +1.437
13 Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’43.414 +1.44
14 Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1’43.422 +1.448
15 Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 1’43.714 +1.74
16 Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 1’43.777 +1.803
17 Marco Melandri (Kawasaki) 1’43.792 +1.818
18 Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 1’43.991 +2.017
19 Gabor Talmasci (Honda) 1’45.833 +3.859