Lorenzo on pole for opening MotoGP in Qatar
April 7, 2012 -- Updated 2021 GMT (0421 HKT)
- Spain's Jorge Lorenzo will start Sunday's opening race of the MotoGP season in Qatar from pole position
- Reigning world champion Casey Stoner will start from second on the grid
- Britain's Cal Crutchlow will start third; Ex-champion Valentino Rossi finished qualifying in 12th
(CNN) -- Spain's Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole position at Sunday's opening MotoGP of the season in Qatar.
The Yamaha driver finished 0.221sec ahead of reigning world champion Australia's Casey Stoner on the Honda.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow will start from third on the Yamaha.
It was the 45th time that Lorenzo, the world champion two seasons ago, has finished on pole during his career.
"I am really happy with tonight's result. I had to push more than 100% to make pole position but I pushed to the limit and managed to make a perfect lap," Lorenzo said.
Yamaha's American rider Ben Spies finished fourth fastest in qualifying, one place ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden.
Champion Stoner sets early pace in Qatar
But is was a disappointing start to the season for seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi.
The Italian will start down in 12th place after finishing Saturday over two second off the pace.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.