Tissot Pole Position Awards
LORENZO CELEBRATES 50TH POLE POSITION
MotoGP™ Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo celebrated the 50th pole position of his career when he led the way in the one hour qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit this afternoon.
Riding the factory Yamaha, the Spaniard became the only rider to lap the 4.801 kms Motegi circuit under one minute 45 seconds since the circuit, situated 100 kms north east of Tokyo, staged its first grand prix in 1999.
Lorenzo received his sixth Tissot T-Touch Expert pole setting watch of the season from Joelle Besson, the Tissot Regional Sales Manager, after three practice and one warm dry qualifying session which was welcomed by all teams and riders after the recent spate of wet weather.
Dani Pedrosa who has won three of the last four grands prix and the MotoGP race at Motegi last year looked strong through practice but hit problems in qualifying. Despite some chattering problems with the factory Honda he still qualified on the front row of the grid in second place for the 24 lap race.
Completing the front row once again is British Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow. The Yamaha rider was disappointed not to take his first ever MotoGP pole position after leading the way. He had problems in the later stages with his Yamaha and did well to remain on the front row.
It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Tissot Ambassador Nicky Hayden. The American Ducati rider cracked a bone in his right wrist in a spectacular crash at the last round in Aragon. He finally qualified in tenth place and will start from the fourth row of the grid.
Aragon Moto2™ winner Pol Espargaro carried on at the front by taking his fifth pole position of the season. The Spanish rider received his Tissot T-race watch knowing that he must win the 23 lap race to put pressure on Championship leader Marc Marquez. They are seperated by 48 points with four rounds remaining and Marquez qualified in second place although Esparago will look for help from team-mate Esteve Rabat who qualified in third place. Tissot Ambassador Tom Luthi starts from the middle of the second row in fifth place while Bradley Smith heads the third row in seventh.
While Lorenzo celebrated his 50th pole British teenager Danny Kent celebrated his first in the Moto3™ class and received his very first Tissot Racing-Touch watch. He is joined on the front row for the 20 lap race by Maverick Vinales and Championship leader Sandro Cortese who mathamatically could clinch the World title tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo –
• This was the 50th pole position of his career – 24 in MotoGP, 23 in 250 and three in the 125 cc class
• This was his sixth pole position of the season
• The pole setter has one won at Motegi – the 2009 MotoGP race
• He secured his 95th podium finish at Aragon which makes him equal in tenth place with five times World Champion Mick Doohan in the all time podium finishers charts. Valentino Rossi leads the way on 177 podiums
Pol Espargaro –
• This was the eighth pole position of his career – five in Moto2 and three in 125cc
• It was his fifth pole position of the season
• The pole setter has one podium finish in Motegi – third in the 2009 125 cc race
• He has won three Moto2 races this year including the last round in Aragon in a race in which the first 12 riders were seperated by just 6.548 seconds which is the closest ever intermediate class finish in the history of grand prix racing.
Danny Kent –
• This was the first pole position of his career
• The pole setter made his first appearance at an overseas grand prix in 2010 at Motegi as a replacement rider for Lambretta in the 125 cc class. Last year he finished in ninth place in the 125 cc race
• The British teenager has secured one podium finish this year – third place in the Dutch TT in Assen