World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo took his third pole position in a row on Saturday at the Catalan Grand Prix, followed by Casey Stoner and Randy de Puniet.
Yamaha rider Lorenzo dominated the practice sessions before posting a fastest lap time of 1 minute, 42.046 seconds in qualifying for Sunday’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“Tomorrow will be the toughest race of the season for me, it’s so hot and the rear tire was sliding a lot,” Lorenzo said.
Australia’s Stoner was 0.364 seconds behind and France’s De Puniet was 0.466 back.
The Spaniard leads the MotoGP standings with 140 points going into the seventh race of the season. His compatriot Dani Pedrosa is second on 93, with Andrea Dovizioso of Italy third on 89.
The lead changed hands several times Saturday. Stoner was at one point heading for pole until Lorenzo clinched the fastest time on his penultimate lap.
Stoner was furious at alleged obstruction by other motorcyclists.
“Everyone seems intent on stuffing me up,” Stoner said. “They look behind, see you coming and still don’t get out of the way ... I’m ready to put someone in a wall, I’m getting sick and tired of it. It’s part of racing tactics, but what goes around comes around.”
With nine—time world champion Valentino Rossi not racing due to a broken leg, Lorenzo is on course to secure a fifth win of the season and the 10th of his career in the MotoGP category.
Andrea Iannone of Italy was fastest in the 250cc category in 1-47.493 seconds.
In the 125cc category, Marc Marquez of Spain took his third pole position in a row in 1-50.543 seconds.