A switch back to last year's 1000cc test settings transformed Jorge Lorenzo's Brno fortunes, allowing the MotoGP title leader to break the lap record on his way to pole position for the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
“We were struggling so much to find the way to set up the bike this morning, we were very lost,” admitted Lorenzo. “Then we went back to the setting we used the first time we tried the 1000 here in Brno last year and it was great.”
Left 0.8s behind championship rival Dani Pedrosa in Saturday morning's final practice, the pre-qualifying changes saw Lorenzo never headed during the one-hour afternoon session.
“We gained some grip in the rear which was the main difference from the other three sessions,” explained team manager Wilco Zeelenberg.
Lorenzo set his best lap of the weekend after just six minutes, broke the pole record by the ten minute mark and finally knocked a further 0.345s from his best time on his 17th of 20 laps.
“I really enjoyed riding the bike, sliding more as well with less electronics. I just wanted to stay out on the track and just keep riding and riding to improve the lap time,” said Lorenzo.
A late burst by Tech 3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow saw the Englishman get within 0.196s of Lorenzo on his penultimate lap, while Pedrosa suffered a fall on his way to third place (+0.528s).
Lorenzo will be seeking to extend his 18-point lead over Pedrosa with a sixth victory of the season on Sunday. Lorenzo's team-mate Ben Spies will start from fourth place.