Home favorite Jorge Lorenzo has pipped Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to pole position for Sunday’s Catalunya MotoGP.
The Spaniard produced a lap of one minute 41.974 seconds to edge out the Italian world champion by 0.013 seconds ahead of the race at the Montmelo circuit. Rossi had topped the timesheets during practice on Friday, but Lorenzo was quickest in the second practice session on Saturday morning and took that speed into qualifying. The performance is a marked improvement for Lorenzo on last year, when he crashed on the opening day at the same circuit and missed the race through concussion. Championship leader Casey Stoner was third fastest, 0.452 seconds off the pace of Lorenzo.
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The Ducati Marlboro rider is at the top of the championship standings with 90 points, with Lorenzo on 86 and Rossi on 81. Andrea Dovizioso was fourth fastest and Antonio Elias will start from fifth on the grid, while Colin Edwards, Randy De Puniet, Daniel Pedrosa, James Toseland and Mika Kallio make up the top 10.