Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo not only secured his 33rd career pole position, but decimated the track lap record for a MotoGP motorcycle by nearly a second in sunny conditions in the Republic of San Marino today. Marc Marquez and current world championship leader Valentino Rossi filled in the rest of the front row.
With just six races left in the 2015 season, the pressure is on Lorenzo to win races and claw back the 12 points he trails to Rossi. The Yamaha pair have at this point pulled clear of any usurpers such as Ducati’s Andrea Iannone or Honda’s Marc Marquez, making this year a battle between teammates.
Both Yamaha men tested new aerodynamic winglets on the YZR-M1, designed to improve top speed in the straights. This technology has been used by Ducati for about 7 years, with varying degrees of success. Both Lorenzo and Rossi declined to use them on their final qualifying runs.
The tiny country of San Marino is an independent republic inside the borders of Italy. Essentially one small town on a hill, the country of 35,000 does not actually have enough territory to host a race track, so the San Marino Grand Prix is hosted at the Misano World Circuit, which is about 45km away inside Italy, effectively giving that country a second race in the World Championship.
In case anyone is counting, Spain hosts four Grands Prix inside it’s national borders, by naming three of them for the autonomous regions they are located in. The fourth is called, one guesses without irony, the Spanish Grand Prix. Ah, Europe.
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 32.146s [Lap 5/8] 288km/h (Top Speed)
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 32.252s +0.106s [7/8] 286km/h
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 32.358s +0.212s [7/8] 286km/h