Jorge Lorenzo stormed to his third pole position of the 2015 MotoGP season in qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on Saturday.
After setting a new unofficial lap record during practice at Misano on Friday, Lorenzo went faster still in qualifying by posting a best time of 1:32.146 to edge out defending champion Marc Marquez by one-tenth of a second.
Marquez had run Lorenzo close throughout practice on Friday, but was unable to bridge the gap to the Spaniard during the final part of qualifying as he fell just short of a seventh pole position of the season.
Championship leader Valentino Rossi bounced back from a poor run of qualifying results by putting his Yamaha bike on the outside of the front row, qualifying a further one-tenth of a second behind Marquez in third place.
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa qualified fourth overall, two places behind teammate Marquez, whilst Michele Pirro and Bradley Smith completed the second row of the grid in P5 and P6 respectively.
Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso qualified seventh and eighth at Misano ahead of Silverstone hero Danilo Petrucci. Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top ten for Suzuki.
To see the full results from qualifying at Misano, click here.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”