MotoGP: Traffic blocks Rossi, nothing stops Lorenzo in new qualifying

The Doctor wasn’t too happy with qualifying…

It was mixed fortunes for the Yamaha Factory Racing team at Qatar this evening, as champion Jorge Lorenzo took pole position whilst team mate Valentino Rossi was knocked off the second row and into 7th place in a competitive session under the new qualifying rules.

With only 15 minutes to set a fast lap, most riders did around two runs – 9 time world champion Valentino Rossi claims he made a mistake in his first run that cost him a decent time therefore he knew he had to improve on the second tyre he used, however claims he got stuck in traffic when attempting a fast lap: “The qualifying was not fantastic for us, especially as we lost the second row. Our performance during free practice was better than this, we’ll wait for tomorrow. Unfortunately in the qualifying session with the second tyre where we had to improve I was stuck in traffic so I could not improve my lap time and I lost some positions. For sure tomorrow it becomes more difficult to start from further behind but we have a good pace so we can be quite competitive.”

It was a completely different story the other side of the garage, nothing stopped Jorge Lorenzo as he stormed to the first pole of 2013: “I’m really happy, for three or four laps we pushed to the limit. I knew Cal was really fast over one lap so I had to push to the maximum. I’m very happy with this pole position. The important thing is that the Yamaha works here at this track. I think for the first time of the new qualifying format it has been very positive and for the fans it is very good to watch. For the riders you are a little more nervous and you have less time to make a fast lap. I knew I was competitive but the ten minutes before the qualifying we had some problems with the set up of the bike so it was more difficult to make the time. We had to change to yesterday’s setting. The important thing is to make a good start tomorrow. The last simulations I made were better than yesterday so I’m quite confident for the start. If there are problems in the first laps we have to be patient and wait for the middle of the race.”

The MotoGP race is tomorrow at 20:00 BST. 

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