Qualifying for tomorrow’s Malaysian MotoGP is done, and 36 year old, 9 times world champion Valentino Rossi has turned out a stunning reversal and qualified ahead of his teammate and only rival Jorge Lorenzo. This the scene is set for a penultimate showdown where either man could wind up clinching the 2015 title.
Rossi, who leads the world championship by 14 points has been consistently slower in both qualifying and in most head to head races against Lorenzo, who is widely recognized as the fastest man this year. Lorenzo needs to win to keep his hopes for a third world championship alive going onto the final race next week. Rossi needs only to stay ahead of his Spanish rival, a feat not easily accomplished.
The Yamaha duo have always maintained a cordial, professional relationship, sharing the same team but not racing data or techniques. This year has boiled down to a Rossi staying ahead on consistent performances, while Lorenzo has won more races with a dominating style.
Both start behind factory Honda men Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, which after the accusations made by Rossi this week, could make things interesting.
|1||Dani PEDROSA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||331.5||1’59.053||–|
|2||Marc MARQUEZ||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||332.6||1’59.462||0.409|
|3||Valentino ROSSI||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||326.4||1’59.726||0.673|
|4||Jorge LORENZO||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||325.9||1’59.737||0.684|
|5||Cal CRUTCHLOW||LCR Honda||Honda||327.1||2’00.199||1.146|
|6||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati Team||Ducati||338.0||2’00.224||1.171|
|7||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati Team||Ducati||330.6||2’00.423||1.370|
|8||Maverick VIÑALES||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||325.2||2’00.478||1.425|
|9||Bradley SMITH||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||329.3||2’00.652||1.599|
|10||Hector BARBERA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||325.6||2’00.724||1.671|