MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo took his fifth pole position at Laguna Seca!

Red Bull, U.S., Grand Prix, MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo of Spain

What a fantastic display in MotoGP qualifying Saturday at Laguna Seca in Monterey.

Lorenzo and Casey Stoner battled for top spot on the starting grid, lapping consistently fast. The Fiat Yamaha rider took the pole with his penultimate lap of 1:20.978, making him the lone rider of the weekend to break the 1:21 barrier.

The duo leads a competitive group that expects a physically demanding 32-lap MotoGP race at 2 p.m. today.

Stoner, a Ducati Team rider, competed with Lorenzo for the latter half of the qualifying session and led for much of it. His lap of 1:21.169 looked as if it would garner the pole, but Lorenzo beat it by less than two-tenths of a second.

“Pole position isn’t the race, but it helps,” Lorenzo said. “Everyone is working very well, and this shows it once again. I didn’t think it would be possible, because Casey was so fast. I decided to give it a try, pushed as hard as I could, and here we are.”

Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso secured the third spot on the MotoGP grid and took his first front-row start in the premier class. The Italian set his best time on the final lap.

“I have a good race pace, but we still need to improve a little because Stoner and Lorenzo are very fast,” Dovizioso said. “There is still a gap, but we are not too far away.”

Heading up the second row will be last year’s race winner, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda). Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies, the top U.S. qualifier, will go for home glory from fifth, having used his final lap to slot himself ahead of Valentino Rossi.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult, because this track is a lot harder for me,” Rossi said. “There are a few corners where we know we can be a bit faster, so we will try to make some small changes to the setting to allow that.”


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