Lorenzo on pole after Portugal qualifying abandoned

Lisbon: Newly crowned MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo will start the Portuguese Grand Prix from pole position after Saturday’s qualifying at Estoril was called off due to torrential rain and strong winds.

The Yamaha rider had been quickest in practice, despite crashing heavily on Saturday morning, with the combined times from the earlier sessions deciding the starting grid for Sunday’s race.

Organisers first postponed qualifying and then abandoned hope of starting after sending out the safety car to test conditions, with pools of standing water on the track.

American Nicky Hayden will start in second place for Ducati, ahead of Lorenzo’s team mate and outgoing champion, Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo, the Spaniard who will be starting on pole for the seventh time this season, wrapped up the championship with three races remaining in Malaysia earlier this month.

Qualifying for the 125cc and Moto2 categories was also called off.

Britain’s Bradley Smith starts on pole in the 125cc category, with the Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi on the top slot for the first time this year in Moto2.

Bureau Report