Spanish MotoGP: Birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo races to pole in Jerez
Last Updated: 05/05/13 1:56pm
Jorge Lorenzo: Raced to pole position on his birthday in Spain
Birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo raced to pole position in an incident-packed final qualifying session for his home country Spanish MotoGP.
The factory Yamaha rider, celebrating his 26th birthday, set a best time of one minute 38.673 seconds ahead of Sunday's third round of the MotoGP World Championship.
But he was aided by falls to rivals Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi, who filled positions two to five on the grid.
Marquez fell in the final free practice session, while Crutchlow came off in both sessions and Rossi and Pedrosa suffered falls as qualifying reached its climax.
Defending champion Lorenzo, who heads the standings with Repsol Honda's Marquez on 41 points, stayed on his bike and just edged out fellow Spaniard and Marquez's team-mate Pedrosa by 0.247 seconds.
Marquez was third quickest to complete the front row of the grid, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow heads up the second row of the grid along with multiple champion Rossi on the second factory Yamaha and the Gresini Honda of Alvaro Bautista.
The factory Ducatis of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and ninth respectively, with Stefan Bradl in between on the LCR Honda.
Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Crutchlow's team-mate Bradley Smith completed the fourth row.
Lorenzo said: "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 Moto2 and the previous qualifying.
"It's going to be tough tomorrow, normally the lap time you make for qualifying you can't 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."