Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo delivered a signature scorching performance this afternoon to take his fourth consecutive Laguna Seca pole position start ahead of tomorrow’s Grand Prix of USA. The Championship leader was straight into the top spot at the beginning of the qualifying practice and was only challenged by rival Casey Stoner towards the end of the session. Lorenzo responded in the last seconds with an incredible lap, coming from a slow first split to an unbeatable last taking pole 0.074 seconds clear. The time of 1’20.554 stands as a new lap record for the circuit.

Ben Spies continued to show the consistent fast pace in evidence from the first practice yesterday, moving quickly up to the top five early in the session. The Texan was provisionally on the front row for some time before dropping just outside it to fourth. A big high side at turn three threatened to bring an end to his qualifying however he made it back and out again on his second bike to complete the heat. He starts on the second row in fourth, 0.54 seconds from pole.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 1st Time: 1’20.554 Laps: 33

“I knew Casey and Dani were going to try and take pole but I really wanted it here in America so I tried my best for Yamaha. I pushed to the limit, especially in the last corner, I was at full lean and opened the throttle really soon. In my first two tries for a perfect lap there was a lot of traffic so I had to wait for the right moment. The important thing is tomorrow, pole position is nice but anyway the race is what counts.”

Ben Spies

Position : 4th Time: 1’1.094 Laps: 27

“Today was ok, we obviously had a crash which was unfortunate as I think we could have got on the front row. I was feeling really good I just maybe didn’t let the right side of the tyre heat up to quite the right temperature and had a pretty big high side. Anyway we got back out and were able to do the same times as before the crash. I need to get some x-rays to check my heel as I took a big hit on it in the crash.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager

“A fantastic qualifying and a spectacular last lap by Jorge making a new lap record. We have a good pace and a good package to fight for victory tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see what the temperature is going to be as it’s very cold in the morning then warms up a lot!”

Massimo Meregalli -Team Director

“A great pole from Jorge, he’s putting a lot of pressure on the Honda guys. Ben had a big crash using the second soft tyre during the qualifying. Anyway, he’s pretty consistent and happy with the bike set up and hopefully tomorrow he will be 100% fine to ride. I’m pretty confident because he’s finished all the practices in the top four and we know which tyre he is going to use.”

MotoGP Laguna Seca qualifying times

FRONT ROW

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’20.554

2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 1’20.628

3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’20.906

SECOND ROW

4. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1’21.094

5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 1’21.268

6. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 1’21.539

THIRD ROW

7. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini 1’21.732

8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 1’21.734

9. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda 1’21.753

FOURTH ROW

10. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 1’22.544

11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’22.886

12. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 1’23.075

FIFTH ROW

13. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’23.699

14. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’23.704

15. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Avintia Racing 1’23.769

SIXTH ROW

16. Michele Pirro (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’23.877

17. Toni Elias (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 1’23.898

18. Mattia Pasini (ITA) Speed Master 1’24.017

SEVENTH ROW

19. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 1’24.227

20. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’24.560

21. James Ellison (UK) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’24.715

EIGHTH ROW

22. Steve Rapp (USA) Attack Performance 1’26.887