Estoril MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo claims landmark pole position

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Jorge Lorenzo claimed a milestone 42nd career pole position today after severe weather forced the cancellation of today’s qualifying session at the Estoril track in Portugal.

Torrential rain and strong winds that battered the track shortly after midday made it impossible for qualifying to go ahead in safe conditions.

As a result, grid positions were decided on combined times from practice with Lorenzo’s best of 1.48.522 set in yesterday afternoon’s session securing him pole position.

His 42nd pole drew him level with Spanish legend Jorge Martinez and the new MotoGP world champion said: “The situation of the track was quite tough and for riding it was not the best condition.

"The Race Direction decided to cancel the practice and I got the pole position. It is a very proud moment for me because I have the same number now as Jorge Martinez. That’s a great moment for me but we will see tomorrow how the weather and conditions will be.

"It will be a difficult race whatever the conditions are. If it is dry it will be difficult because we don’t remember how the bike responds. And if it is wet it is difficult because in the rain anything can happen.

"The only good thing is we have the championship and we don’t have to worry about the points or making mistakes.”

Lorenzo too brushed off a heavy crash at the final corner in driving rain that hit this morning’s practice.

He lost the rear of his Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1 machine, landing heavily to activate his protective Dainese airbag system.

The 23-year-old, who is chasing a third straight win in Portugal tomorrow, said: “I was trying to improve my time because I thought the other riders were much closer but I took too much of a risk.

"At the last corner where I crashed there is 20 metres with a little bit less grip than the rest of the corner. You have to pay attention and I didn’t pay enough.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt