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Lorenzo takes pole at Jerez

After 29 pole changes, Jorge Lorenzo finishes on top during qualifying for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.
Jorge Lorenzo has taken a home MotoGP pole position for Sunday's Spanish Grand prix after a thrilling qualifying session at Jerez on Saturday afternoon.

After three wet free practice sessions, qualifying began in dry but cold conditions, and with dark clouds circling overhead.

The one-hour session saw the provisional pole time change an amazing 29 times as eight different riders - Randy de Puniet, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo - featured in first place!

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Crutchlow had been holding the advantage when spots of rain began falling just before the halfway mark

The Englishman then sat nervously in the pits through the middle stages, but the heavier rain that would have confirmed his first pole didn't materialise and instead the second half of the session saw speeds intensify.

But it was Spaniards Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa who dominated the closing stages, swapping pole six times before Yamaha star Lorenzo finished just 0.135sec ahead of the Repsol Honda rider.

Lorenzo's best lap time was 0.2sec under the race lap record.

Ducati's Nicky Hayden completed the front row after an excellent dry performance, but was over one-second from pole, with Crutchlow crashing on his way to fourth on the grid (+1.038s).

Reigning double world champion Casey Stoner saved a near fall on his way to fifth, while Lorenzo's factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies completes Sunday's second row.

Ducati's Valentino Rossi - competitive in the wet - will start a miserable 13th (+3.429s) after being out of the top ten throughout the session.

As in Qatar the Italian was last of the twelve manufacturer bikes, but this time was also beaten by the Aspar Aprilia CRT machine of de Puniet (tenth). The Frenchman also outpaced satellite GP12 riders Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera.

Certainly not what The Doctor ordered as he seeks to bounce back from a nightmare opening round, however the erratic Jerez weather may yet change for the worse on race day.

Rossi rose from twelfth to third in the early stages of last year's wet race, before falling and taking down Stoner.

Qualifying:

1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Nicky Hayden
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Casey Stoner
6. Ben Spies
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Stefan Bradl
10. Randy De Puniet
11. Karel Abraham
12. Hector Barbera
13. Valentino Rossi
14. Aleix Espargaro
15. Michele Pirro
16. Mattia Pasini
17. Yonny Hernandez
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Ivan Silva
20. James Ellison
21. Colin Edwards



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Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
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Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016

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