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MotoGP Phillip Island Qualifying 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013
Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo has secured pole position for the Australian GP in record-breaking fashion as his 1’27.899 lap time bested the previous lap record set by Casey Stoner in 2008. The defending MotoGP champion Lorenzo will be joined on the front row by his title rival, Respol Honda’s Marc Marquez, in second, with fellow factory M1 pilot Valentino Rossi third. The only racer besides Lorenzo with a mathematical shot at the title, Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa will start from fifth.
Jorge Lorenzo secured pole position in record breaking fashion at Phillip Island.
Jorge Lorenzo secured pole position in record breaking fashion at Phillip Island ahead of Marc Marquez.

Race Direction also announced changes to Sunday’s race, necessitated by tire concerns. Bridgestone cannot guarantee the safety of its tire at the Australian circuit beyond 14 laps, so Race Direction is requiring at least one mandatory pit stop in the 26-lap race. During the stop riders will switch to their backup machines sporting fresh tires to complete the race. No rider is permitted to exceed Bridgestone’s 14-lap maximum, so riders who pit before 12 laps will have to make a second pit stop to conclude the race. Race Direction has also mandated what tire selections the prototype and CRT machines can use during the race.

Lorenzo’s record-setting pace is made the more impressive by the fact that he struck a seagull during the qualifying session.

“I had an impact with a bird on the first few laps on the bike, luckily we could take it off and I could make a second attempt without a passenger, maybe because of this I went a little bit faster and was able to make pole position. I’m very happy because I pushed to the limit to make the lap and I made a very good time.”

Marquez enjoys a comfortable 43-point advantage in the championship with three races remaining and could secure the title at Phillip Island if Lorenzo stumbles. The rookie had another fall during Saturday’s practice session, his second of the weekend, but was able to keep Lorenzo in his sights during qualifying and stay on the front row.

“The goal today was to get a front row start for tomorrow, and we achieved it. We knew that Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino [Rossi] would be very fast over a single lap with the new soft tire compound, something that they showed today. Jorge, Dani [Pedrosa] and Valentino have a great pace, but I think I can stick with them,” said Marquez. “After the issues with tires the race will now be a flag-to-flag, which for me is the first time so it will be interesting –even if I would have preferred a shorter race but this is the decision from Race Direction. We shall see if in the warm up we can try out some last minute things and then we will give 100%, as always.”

Rossi, who has secured more than one of his seven MotoGP titles at the Australian circuit, lapped a half second slower than Marquez but slipped ahead of Alvaro Bautista for the final spot on Row 1. The satellite Honda rider bested fellow Spaniard and factory Honda man Pedrosa for fourth, with Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow in sixth.

The second Tech 3 rider, Bradley Smith, heads Row 3, followed by a trio of Ducati’s led by Nicky Hayden, then Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was the fastest CRT on the grid, qualifying 11th.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner was in attendance at Phillip Island, as the Aussie was inducted as a MotoGP Legend. Stoner joins the likes of fellow countrymen Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan.

2013 MotoGP Phillip Island Qualifying Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1'27.899
2. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1'28.120
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1'28.647
4. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1'28.713
5. Daniel Pedrosa (Honda) 1'28.748
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1'28.809
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1'28.941
8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1'29.295
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1'29.660
10. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1'29.756
11. Colin Edwards (Forward) 1'30.264
12. Randy De Puniet (Aspar) 1'30.735
13. Aleix Espargaro (Aspar) 1'30.081
14. Claudio Corti (Forward) 1'30.530
15. Yonny Hernandez (Blusens) 1'30.641

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Valentino Rossi
Who is the most popular MotoGP racer in the world? Valentino Rossi. Learn more about Valentino Rossi in Motorcycle USA's Valentino Rossi page for career highlights, pictures, and news.
Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo has been a force in MotoGP since his 2008 debut, becoming one of the most dominant Grand Prix riders in the paddock with his 2010 and 2012 MotoGP championship victories. Find out more about Jorge Lorenzo by checking out Motorcycle USA's Jorge Lorenzo page for career highlights, a complete bio, and racing pictures.
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez made a huge debut in MotoGP and looks to further solidify his name among the greats. Learn about Marquez in Motorcycle-USA’s Marc Marquez bio page.
Nicky Hayden
Starting from humble dirt track beginnings at the age of four, Nicky Hayden has captured many titles including a MotoGP championship. Check out Motorcycle USA's Nicky Hayden page for highlights, videos, and Nicky Hayden biography.
Dani Pedrosa
A 250GP star, Dani Pedrosa has been a consistent title contender througout his young MotoGP career, campaigning from Day 1 for the factory Repsol Honda team. Read more about the Spanish rider on the Dani Pedrosa bio page.

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Comments
thomboz   October 19, 2013 05:06 PM
Lorenzo's mishap with the seagull is hilarious. Especially funny is what the MotoGP site said. "With no seagull to slow him down the Mallorcan was unflappable." ThomBoz