Jorge Lorenzo secured second place for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix, slotting in behind Marc Marquez but two places ahead of his teammate and championship rival Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo was the last rider to come out of the box at the start of the overcast 15-minute session and needed little time to put the hammer down. His first hot lap was a 2’00.798 for provisional second place. He followed that up with a second flying lap, but was unable to improve his time and with five and half minutes left Lorenzo returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre.
The Spaniard was pushed back to third and cunningly waited for all other riders to exit the pit lane before heading out for his second attempt to improve his starting position. With three and half minutes still on the clock, he had just enough time left for a final try and dropped a hot time of 2’00.522 to reclaim second position, 0,288s off the front.
The current championship leader said: “To be honest, I didn’t expect to improve so much and that everyone would be so quick in qualifying, but it’s normal for everyone to improve their times by one second out of nowhere. If you don’t get the perfect lap or don’t push to your limits, it’s very difficult to stay on the first row. For this reason I’m very happy with second place, this is a very good position, I’m very happy. I’m very proud of my two laps. Let’s see which small details we can improve for tomorrow to keep a consistent pace.”
Teammate Rossi also bided his time at the start of the session to avoid traffic. The nine time World Champion soon dropped under the 2’02 mark with a 2’01.779 and moved up to fifth, but was pushed back a place when the pace picked up. He gave another push and delivered a 2’01.182 moving back up to fifth after which he immediately returned to the pits with a little less than six minutes of the session remaining. A minute later he was back on track to pick up the pace. He was unable to improve on his time on his third flying lap, but having been pushed back to sixth the Italian was determined to make up ground. He put his head down on his final attempt and rode a strong final sector to secure fourth position clocking a brilliant 2’00.947, 0.713s off pole.