German MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo sorry after oil chaos

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Jorge Lorenzo apologised to Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet after a spectacular engine blow-up on his factory Yamaha resulted in heavy crashes for the American and Frenchman.

Lorenzo was trying to overhaul compatriot Dani Pedrosa in this afternoon’s qualifying session with 25 minutes remaining when his YZR-M1 blew-up on the start/finish straight.

Flames were seen pouring out of the Spaniard’s fairing and it was only when he felt oil on his right boot approaching the first corner that he veered off track.

The 23-year-old Spaniard, who is chasing a sixth win in eight races tomorrow, said: “For sure Randy is not so happy with his crash and also Ben. I am so sorry about my engine problem. This is what can happen with four-strokes.

"When you break an engine it can lose a lot of oil. For the rider who is on the bike it is quite safe, but not like a two-stroke engine that when you lose oil you can crash.

"But this is the problem with the oil. Maybe we can find some solution with something that helps keep the oil off the track. In the first moment I didn’t know what happened.

"I didn’t see the flames or feel the oil. But when I started to arrive close to the first corner I started to feel the oil on my boots. It was hot but it was too late to get off the line. It was a different session because normally you don’t break an engine.

"But I was on the straight at full throttle and suddenly the engine stopped. There were a lot of flames and a lot of oil was on my foot. I had to stop the bike and move off the track.”

The session was stopped for almost 30 minutes as track officials tried to clear the oil trail that went on for several metres in the braking zone for the first corner.

But once restarted, Lorenzo produced a brilliant performance on his spare factory YZR-M1 machine to claim his fourth successive pole position.

He clocked a best time of 1.21.817 to finish just 0.024s clear of Aussie Casey Stoner on the factory Ducati GP10.

The double world 250GP champion said: “It was the first time I’d ridden the second bike but I was really confident to be faster than before I broke the engine.

"I just made and it was a good surprise for me because I thought with the oil in the first corner it would be impossible to improve the lap time but at the end I was able to do it.

"I’ve never ridden so comfortable at this track and today was the first time in my career that I rode so well at this circuit.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt