Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo was back in action at a dry and slightly overcast Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit to determine their place on tomorrow's starting grid.
After keeping up the pace in today's two free practice sessions on the second day in France, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo went straight through to the Q2 session to qualify on the first row for tomorrow's fifth race of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship.
Lorenzo had his signature start to the qualifying session, waiting for all other riders to leave the pit lane before rushing out on his YZR-M1. Having set a 1'32s lap this weekend, the Mallorcan continued the trend dropping a 1'32.437s, a best lap of the weekend at that time, for first place.
He further extended his lead with a 1'32.236s before heading back to the pits with more than seven minutes remaining.
Two minutes later Lorenzo was back on track and had just enough time left for two more hot laps. Despite a slight error on his third hot lap, he made a stunning recovery. He waited until the last moment to show his blistering pace and became the fastest man ever around the Le Mans Bugatti circuit, posting a new circuit best lap record of 1'31.975s, extending his lead to 0.441s.
"From the beginning, the first practice on Friday, everything went very well already with our first setting." Lorenzo said. "Little by little and practice by practice together with the whole team we improved small details in all the corners to create a bike that allowed me to keep a constant pace.
"I was using the same old tyres throughout free practice 4 and normally that means that when you use new tyres you can be very fast and that's what happened today.
"I didn't expect to set such an unbelievable lap time, but sometimes the lap time surprises you and I'm very happy with the pole position and the lap record and especially with the work we did with the whole team on the bike."
Valentino Rossi had a similar strategy to his teammate and was one of the last riders to exit pit lane as the lights went green. His first flying lap put him in third place until Lorenzo completed his first flying lap, pushing the Italian back to fourth. Eager to stay on the first row, he improved his time on his second try and moved back into the provisional top three with a 1'32.829s.