Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo was in a league of his own on Saturday as he shattered the previous pole position record at Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo - set by himself last year - by 0.610s to claim pole in his final race with Yamaha.
The home hero gave a magical performance dropping multiple 1‘29s laps to take a convincing pole position, his fourth of the season.
Lorenzo was on good form in front of his home fans during free practice and gave another blistering performance later in the afternoon. He was one of the first riders to leave pit lane and didn‘t waste any time to drop a time of 1‘29.849s, a new pole position record, on his first attempt to put his name at the top of the provisional leader board.
Having set the benchmark high he immediately returned to the pit box with ten minutes remaining. He quickly went out on track again and duplicated his stellar effort and set a 1‘29.613s before making a second stop. He quickly dashed off again with over three minutes left to defend his number one spot. Flashing red through all the sectors, the Mallorcan signed off his impressive qualifying efforts with a 1‘29.401s, leaving a 0.340s gap to his closest rival.
“My motivation was full on, because I wanted to get the best challenge for pole position, but tomorrow is going to be the most important because that decides the victory, which for sure will be very hard to get it,” he said. “At least I can say that in the last race with Yamaha I got pole position and I think that today I was inspired.”
“This 1‘29.8s I already expected and I did it, but not only that, I improved the lap time without a new tyre. I did everything I could and risked in braking. It was a great day and an inspiring moment and I‘m very proud and very happy.”
Honda rider and 2016 champion Marc Marquez crossed the line in P2 and will start alongside Lorenzo on the front row with the second Yamaha of Valentino Rossi on the other side of him after the Doctor qualified third fastest.
Maverick Vinales, Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaro will start on row two with Andrea Iannone, Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro on row three.
1 Jorge LORENZO - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'29.401
2 Marc MARQUEZ - Repsol Honda Team - 1'29.741 + 0.340
3 Valentino ROSSI - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'30.128 + 0.727
4 Maverick VIÑALES - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'30.276 + 0.875
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO - Ducati Team - 1'30.338 + 0.937
6 Pol ESPARGARO - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'30.392 + 0.991
7 Andrea IANNONE - Ducati Team - 1'30.420 + 1.019
8 Dani PEDROSA - Repsol Honda Team - 1'30.574 + 1.173
9 Aleix ESPARGARO - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'30.885 + 1.484
10 Bradley SMITH - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'30.949 + 1.548