Jorge Lorenzo says his qualifying at Misano ‘couldn’t have gone any better’ by storming to pole position with lap record pace for Ducati.

The Spanish rider notched up a 1m 31.7s with his opening lap in qualifying to set the standard to beat before improving on his final lap with a lap record 1m 31.629s to take a dominant pole position by over quarter of a second ahead of nearest rival Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati.

Having taken back-to-back poles following his Silverstone feat, which ended up counting for little with the race cancelled, Lorenzo says he is proud to produce a new lap record at the San Marino round and is confident with his pace for Sunday’s race.

“It couldn’t have gone any better because to be so fast here in Misano with the Ducati, which usually struggles, but not this Ducati because we have a very complete bike,” Lorenzo said. “It makes me extremely happy and proud.

“Apart from the 31.6s which is very fast, the first lap time, the 31.7s, is unbelievable and it gives me more confidence to push on more even with the change of tyre when we used the softer one.

“We have a very good feeling and on race pace, one flying lap the bike is working very well, we had one test here one month ago this helped us compared to the teams which weren’t there so today was a fantastic qualifying which we enjoyed.”

Lorenzo is still bracing for a tough race physically at the tight and twisty Misano track, which he has struggled this year, but has faith in recent improvements with the GP18 from last month’s test which has seen both factory Ducati riders remain ever-present at the top of the times in dry conditions this weekend.

“It will be tough, long and very hot,” he said. “In a short track it is always very tough physically as we are going to do a lot of laps, 27, so it will be very demanding.

“We still don’t know which tyre will be the best one for the conditions because the track is improving with the grip and this helps the soft.

“But maybe it will be too soft so the decision on the tyres will be important tomorrow. In any case we are fast, competitive and confident so we are prepared for it.”