Lorenzo takes pole for Catalan MotoGP

Madrid: Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo continued to set the pace at Montmelo, taking pole position for the Catalan MotoGP in soaring temperatures on Saturday.

The Spaniard, who was quickest in practice on Friday, is on course for a hat-trick of wins and will start from the front on Sunday after setting the quickest time of 1:42.046 on his penultimate lap.

Australian Casey Stoner, on a Ducati, was pushed into second, 0.364 seconds behind Lorenzo. Frenchman Randy de Puniet, on a Honda, completes the front row.

"The track is like an ice rink. There is a big problem with the tyres -- we don`t have any grip," Lorenzo told reporters after another sweltering day in which the air temperature hit 35 degrees Celsius and the ground temperature peaked at 53.

"(The choice of tyres) generates a lot of doubts," Lorenzo added.

Lorenzo has opened up a 47-point lead over second-placed Dani Pedrosa in the world title standings, but he admitted it was difficult to know how different things might have been if his Yamaha team mate, champion Valentino Rossi, had not fallen and broken his leg last month.

"Rossi has time to recover and we will get to see each other again soon," Lorenzo said. "I`m also unsure about whether I would still be winning if he had been on the track."

His Spanish compatriot Pedrosa, who was just over half a second behind Lorenzo, was fourth fastest and heads up the second row with American Ben Spies and Italian Andrea Dovizioso.

Another Italian, Andrea Iannone, took pole in Moto2 ahead of Japan`s Yuki Takahashi, Switzerland`s Thomas Luthi and championship leader Tony Elias of Spain.

It was a Spanish one-two in the 125cc category, with Marc Marquez taking pole ahead of Pol Espargaro. Britain`s Bradley Smith came in third and championship leader Nicolas Terol of Spain completed the front row of the grid.

Bureau Report