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Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 10:27 AM ICT

Lorenzo Celebrates Birthday With Perfect Pole in Jerez

Motorcycle RacingYamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo celebrated his 26th birthday in style today, taking pole position in qualifying for tomorrow’s Gran Premio bwin de España at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit in Southern Spain. The reigning World Champion was the man to beat for the second day of the Grand Prix weekend, starting qualifying at the front with a blistering 1’38.876 lap on his first qualifying tyre. The time remained unbeaten until Lorenzo came out on his second tyre and delivered a stunning 1’38.673 on his sixth lap to secure the number one slot on the grid in front of his home crowd.

Valentino Rossi was one of several riders to fall victim to front end crashes in the hot qualifying session. The Italian was unable to save his M1 on his right knee on the fast right hand turn 11, resulting in a dramatic crash with just two minutes of qualifying remaining. Luckily Rossi was uninjured and was back smiling in the pit garage shortly afterwards. His quickest lap of the session was 1 ’39.00, putting him on the second row of the grid in fifth, 0.627 seconds from his teammate on pole.

Jorge Lorenzo

1st, Time - 1'38.673
“I’m happy with this pole position, it’s a good present for my birthday! I knew the track was not perfect, it’s very warm and there were a lot of crashes in the previous qualifying. I just tried to make the perfect lap, unfortunately I couldn’t, I made a mistake in two braking zones and went wide and lost some tenths. Anyway, in the other corners I was really quick and at the limit so it was enough to make it. It’s going to be tough tomorrow, normally the lap time you make for qualifying you cant repeat in another time because the tyre drops. We hope to improve the bike a little bit to get more comfortable with pace. Anyway I think we can fight for the win or at least for the podium tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi

5th, Time -1'39.300
“Today the practices were not so bad. The position is the best qualifying for us this year. The second row is quite good, we can do also do better. Unfortunately at the end I had a crash but I’m ok, I don't have any problems so we are more or less ready for tomorrow. The bigger issue for tomorrow is how high the rhythm will be with the used tyre. Especially with the hot conditions the rear tyre slides a lot so it is important to see how high the rhythm is after seven or eight laps. Now we try to make the best setting and we will see tomorrow.”

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