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Lorenzo birthday pole in qualifying crash-fest

Jorge Lorenzo takes pole position for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez - fast falls for Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.
MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo took a home pole position, on his 26th birthday, during an incident-packed qualifying at Jerez in Spain.

Lorenzo made his intentions clear by setting the fastest time of the weekend on his opening lap of the short 15-minute session - while pole rivals Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa went on to suffer fast spills.

By the time the dust had cleared, Yamaha's Lorenzo had further improved his time to take pole by 0.247s from Pedrosa, whose rookie Repsol Honda team-mate Marc Marquez completed an all-Spanish front row.

Crutchlow, who also fell in the previous FP4 session, was left in fourth place and will be joined on the second row by Rossi and Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista. Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) will form row three.

Crutchlow, then Rossi and Pedrosa all suffered lowside accidents at different corners in the slippery afternoon heat.

Tech 3 Yamaha star Crutchlow was dumped hard onto his left shoulder under braking at the final turn - the corner newly renamed after Lorenzo - halfway through the session. The Englishman slid across the asphalt before being kicked into a series of barrel-rolls when he touched the gravel trap. He returned but remained fourth.

Rossi lowsided through the fast turn 11 right-hander later in the session, leaving his Factory M1 with substantial damage after rolling, while the Italian walked away unharmed. The Italian still achieved his goal of a top five start and his highest grid position of 2013.

Pedrosa's lowside was less spectacular, but ended any hopes of pole. Earlier, Pedrosa had almost toppled from his RCV as it was being started in the pits.

Qualifying 2:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Marc Marquez
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Alvaro Bautista
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Hector Barbera
11. Andrea Iannone
12. Bradley Smith




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Lorenzo is the Don! No one looks that good going that fast. Pure style! When a rider of the quality of Rossi, on a track that he loves, cannot get within six tenths of Lorenzo without taking huge risks and crashing out, that tells you just how good the World Champion really is. Oh we'll, there is always Mugello .......



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