It proved to be thirteenth time lucky as Jorge Lorenzo rode to his first pole position of 2014 with a splendid late lap at Misano.
|Lorenzo claimed a first pole position in 14 rounds at Misano
Photo: Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
The Majorcan’s late lap snatched pole position away from home hero Andrea Iannone, who had been on course for a debut pole position in the class with just two minutes to go.
It was a day of firsts as Valentino Rossi confirmed Yamaha’s fine pace around the Adriatic circuit with his debut front row start of the year, while Marc Marquez could only manage the fourth fastest time.
Tomorrow will be the first time the reigning world champion starts off the front row since his home race in Barcelona in 2013.
Once Lorenzo laid down his marker several riders pushed for one last flyer, notably Dani Pedrosa, who was up on his countryman through the first two sectors. The Repsol Honda man lost time through the tight final double-right hander and was forced to settle for fifth, 0.18s off pole.
With the Misano circuit just 2.2 miles long, times were tight at the top. The front row was separated by just 0.064 seconds while Andrea Dovizioso’s sixth fastest time was just 0.2 seconds slower than Lorenzo’s pole mark.
Bradley Smith qualified ninth, two places behind team-mate Pol Espargaro and one behind Pol’s brother Aleix.
Elsewhere there was dispair for Cal Crutchlow, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for Q2 after suffering yet another sensor failure on his Ducati. Sitting top with seconds of Q1 remaining, Crutchlow succumbed to late Yonny Hernandez and Stefan Bradl laps to agonisingly fall short of making the top twelve.
Scott Redding qualified 14th after suffering his second crash in the space of 30 minutes while Leon Camier placed a hugely encouraging 16th. Michael Laverty equalled his best Saturday afternoon performance of the season with a strong 18th.
Full qualifying results can be seen here.