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Motorsport | MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo © Gallo Images

Lorenzo wins Spanish qualifying battle



Spain's 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo recorded his 46th career pole position here on Saturday when he posted the fastest time in qualifying for the Spanish MotoGP.

The Yamaha rider – who won the season-opening Qatar MotoGP – pipped compatriot Dani Pedrosa on a Honda while the 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden of the United States was third fastest on a Ducati.

Lorenzo's tally of 46 pole positions includes 20 in MotoGP.

"We are very happy with this pole position because it was a strange session. There were a lot of water patches and it was very dangerous," said Lorenzo.

"You had to pay a lot of attention, it would have been easy to crash and get injured.

"Anyway we start in first position so let's see what happens in the race. Thank you to the team for working hard to keep giving the right set up in changing conditions."

Lorenzo and Pedrosa swapped fastest times throughout a thrilling duel on Saturday and were the only two riders to go under 1min 40sec and in doing so Lorenzo also bettered Pedrosa's fastest lap time set in 2010.

"It's been a really good qualifying session. It was very difficult to know how much to push because there were some wet spots and it was easy to make mistakes," said Pedrosa.

"Also after so many laps with wet tyres in the free practices, when you put on the slicks it's like another bike but you have no time to waste to find a good lap time.

"So I'm quite impressed with the time and very happy to be on the front row."

While Hayden, who recorded his best win of last season here last year when he finished third, shone for the Ducati team his teammate, Italian legend Valentino Rossi, failed to sparkle and will start 13th on the grid.

Englishman Cal Crutchlow caught the eye as he recovered from a spectacular crash to record the fourth fastest time ahead of defending world champion Casey Stoner of Australia.

QUALIFYING TIMES

1 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA, Yamaha) 1'39.532
2 Dani Pedrosa (SPA, Honda) +0.135
3 Nicky Hayden (USA, Ducati) +1.031
4 Cal Crutchlow (GBR, Yamaha) +1.038
5 Casey Stoner (AUS, Honda) +1.045
6 Ben Spies (USA, Yamaha) +1.558
7 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA, Yamaha) +1.648
8 Alvaro Bautista (SPA, Honda) +1.915
9 Stefan Bradl (GER, Honda) +2.018
10 Randy de Puniet (FRA, ART) +2.168
11 Karel Abraham (CZE, Ducati) +2.192
12 Hector Barbera (SPA, Ducati) +2.339
13 Valentino Rossi (ITA, Ducati) +3.429
14 Aleix Espargaro (SPA, ART) +3.603
15 Michele Pirro (ITA, FTR) +3.831
16 Mattia Pasini (ITA, ART) +4.776
17 Yonny Hernandez (COL, BQR) +4.935
18 Danilo Petrucci (ITA, Ioda) +5.113
19 Ivan Silva (SPA, BQR) +5.185
20 James Ellison (GBR, ART) +6.192
21 Colin Edwards (USA, Suter) +6.668

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