Catalunya MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo predicts gruelling race

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Jorge Lorenzo reckons he will have to dig deep to register his third successive MotoGP victory of 2010 on home soil at the Catalunya track tomorrow.

The home crowd favourite claimed his third straight pole position today with a lap of 1.42.046 in the closing stages denying Casey Stoner his first pole since the opening round of the season in Qatar. 

Lorenzo’s late attack secured pole position by 0.364s as he looks to extend his healthy lead of 47-points over fierce Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa in tomorrow’s 25-lap race.

But Lorenzo reckons his toughest challenge tomorrow could come from the elements.

Conditions in Catalunya have been extreme with temperatures again hitting 35 degrees and track temperature soaring to 53 degrees.

And Lorenzo, who hasn’t yet finished below second place in the opening six races of 2010, said mastering the punishing heat would be tough both physically and mentally.

The 23-year-old, who has won four out of the opening six races, said: “It was very hot and the conditions are terrible. I used my camel pack today and normally I only need this in Malaysia. In the morning I felt quite good and I think all the riders felt good on the bike to race in good times. But it was the opposite in the afternoon and we didn’t have the same feeling.

"The only rider who can make a good pace was Randy (de Puniet). We struggled a little bit and at the end I didn’t expect this improvement with the soft tyre. I could make three or four laps in a good pace with the soft tyre and get the pole position and be quite motivated and excited for the race.”

Lorenzo said another issue would be deciding on whether to race the hard or soft compound Bridgestone rear tyre in round seven of the series.

Forecasts show a repeat of the gruelling conditions experienced so far and he added: “ “Now we have to decide which tyre we will use for the race. Before the qualifying we were quite clear that it was going to be the hard tyre for the race. But now it is not quite so clear and we have to decide in the warm-up.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt