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Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Saturday, 9 October 2010 09:12 UK

Jorge Lorenzo clinches Malaysian MotoGP pole position

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
Date: 9-10 October
Sunday 10 October: 125cc & Moto2, 0350-0605, BBC Red Button/online, MotoGP, 0845-1000, BBC Two/online, MotoGP repeat, 1045-1200, BBC Red Button/online

Jorge Lorenzo
Lorenzo is on the verge of the biggest success of his career so far

World champion-elect Jorge Lorenzo will start Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang from pole position.

The Fiat Yamaha rider set a fastest lap of two minutes 1.537 seconds right at the end of qualifying to take pole from Ducati rider Nicky Hayden.

Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was third fastest, ahead of Ben Spies, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo only needs to finish in the top 10 on Sunday to be crowned champion. His worst finish this year is fourth.

The 23-year-old Spaniard has put himself in prime position to be world champion by winning seven races so far this season, and only failing to finish in the top three on two occasions.

With team-mate, rival and reigning champion Rossi having had his title hopes scuppered by a broken leg earlier in the season, Lorenzo's only real rival for the crown was fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.

But just as he seemed to be getting some momentum going, he crashed in practice for last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, ruling him out of this weekend's race and ensuring it will take a catastrophic loss of form by Lorenzo for him to miss out on winning his first elite class title.

The way he clinched pole position for Sunday suggests he is keen to win in style, rather than just by doing what he has to.

Former world champion Hayden had looked on course for his first pole position for three years, but in the dying seconds of the qualifying session, Lorenzo beat his best lap time by one-tenth of a second.

"The time is coming," said Lorenzo afterwards.

"Tomorrow is the most important race of my life so I am proud and happy to hold pole position. I hope the weather respects us - I hope there is no rain."

Malaysian MotoGP qualifying result:

1 J Lorenzo (Sp) Fiat Yamaha 2:01.537
2 N Hayden (USA) Ducati 2:01.637
3 A Dovizioso (Ita) Repsol Honda 2:01.829
4 B Spies (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 2:01.993
5 C Stoner (Aus) Ducati 2:02.023
6 V Rossi (Ita) Fiat Yamaha 2:02.030
7 C Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 2:02.097
8 A Bautista (Spa) Rizla Suzuki 2:02.394
9 L Capirossi (Ita) Rizla Suzuki 2:02.522
10 M Melandri (Ita)Gresini Honda 2:02.624
11 M Simoncelli (Ita) Gresini Honda 2:02.690
12 A Esparago (Sp) Pramac Ducati 2:02.723
13 R de Puniet (Fr) LCR Honda 2:02.775
14 H Aoyama (Jpn) Interwetten Honda 2:02.778
15 H Barbera (Sp) Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati 2:02.928
16 M Kallio (Fin) Pramac Ducati 2:04.167

Moto2 qualifying result:

1 J Simon (Sp) Suter 2:08.562
2 A de Angelis (SM) Motobi 2:08.754
3 T Luethi (Swi) Moriwaki 2:08.860

Selected other:

8 S Redding (GB) Suter 2:09.335

125cc race qualifying result:

1 M Marquez (Sp) Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Derbi 2:13.398
2 B Smith (GB) Bancaja Aspar Team Aprilia 2:13.691
3 N Terol (Sp) Bancaja Aspar Team Aprilia 2:14.104

Selected others:

12 D Webb (GB) Andalucia Cajasol Aprilia 2:16.286
13 D Kent (GB) Lambretta 2:16.392

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see also
Sepang start switch angers Rossi
08 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
07 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Injured Pedrosa to miss Malaysia
07 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Stoner seals Japanese MotoGP win
03 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Rossi to undergo shoulder surgery
15 Sep 10 |  MotoGP

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