Jorge Lorenzo didn’t let an altercation with one of man’s feathered friends get in his way in his bid to out-qualify title rival Marc Marquez for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix race at Phillip Island.
In fact, the Yamaha man seemed to bear the macabre ex-seagull as a mascot of luck, as he comprehensively out-rode the younger Marquez and was the only man to dip into the 1:27 laptime mark. The 20 year-old Honda rider starts 2nd, while Valentino Rossi ensured a measure of crowd support for the event after ticket sales fell with the absence of Casey Stoner for 2013 by qualifying on the front row along with team-mate Lorenzo.
Dani Pedrosa had a miserable day however, for after setting fastest time in final practice he failed to make headway in qualifying and was beaten to 4th by Alvaro Bautista. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was 6th, just ahead of Tech 3 team-mate and compatriot Bradley Smith.
The session was marred by a heated altercation between Pramac’s Yonny Hernandez and Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro, after the Colombian impeded the CRT man not once, but twice as he attempted to make the cut for Q2. At one point the Pramac man made contact with Espargaro, and wild hand gestures were the order of the day.
CLASSIFICATION – QUALIFYING – AUSTRALIAN MOTOGP