Jorge Lorenzo managed to secure a front row start for tomorrow's Catalunya MotoGP in Spain despite missing out on vital track time in final qualifying due to a clutch issue.
The Factory Yamaha rider maintained his unbroken run of top three starts this season, lapping in 1m 41.566s to finish behind Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow.
Lorenzo sealed third position on the grid after only seven laps in Q2 after he was forced to pull into the pits with a clutch problem.
“I've had worse days, but also better ones. To finish six tenths behind pole is something I didn't expect,” said Lorenzo.
“Dani did an incredible lap. Close to perfection. And we had this little, or big, problem in the clutch.
“So we lost five or seven minutes and then I only had two fast laps,” he added.
“The problem was that I didn't feel exactly the same with the spare bike, but anyway pole position was impossible today and second or third doesn't matter so much.”
Lorenzo expects 'three or four' riders to be in contention for victory in Barcelona tomorrow, when the defending world champion believes mental stamina will be a deciding factor in the outcome.
“The weather is so hot and the time difference between one fast lap and race pace is so big,” he said.
“It is a completely different story. I believe three or four riders have a similar pace.
“So the riders that are the most consistent and mentally hard over a long distance will have a big advantage. We hope to be one of those guys.”
Lorenzo walked away unhurt following a spill in the morning session at turn five.Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.