Lorenzo makes Yamaha pole history at Estoril.

  Jorge Lorenzo handed Yamaha its eleventh pole position of the 2009 MotoGP season at Estoril on Saturday - thereby breaking the factory's previous best haul of ten premier-class poles, achieved in both 1978 and 1988. 

    Six of those 2009 poles have fallen to Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha team-mate and title leader Valentino Rossi, but the young Spaniard overcame the Italian by 0.260sec to claim his ninth career pole, fifth of the year and first since Laguna Seca in early July.

    Lorenzo's only MotoGP victory from pole came at Estoril last season, when he won his first ever MotoGP race in only his third start. Lorenzo, a triple 2009 race winner, will begin Sunday's event 30 points behind reigning six-time MotoGP champion Rossi.

    If any Yamaha rider finishes on the podium on Sunday the factory will have won the 2009 MotoGP Constructors' title with three races still to go.

    Joining the two factory M1 riders on the front row of the grid will be the returning Casey Stoner, who was a pole contender from the start of the hour as he mercilessly pushed his Desmosedici to the limit.

    The Australian, who has slipped to fourth in the championship after missing the last three rounds to seek a cure for fatigue problems, lapped just 0.314sec slower than Lorenzo - despite a problem with the softer compound Bridgestone tyres.

    Stoner's front row came at the expense of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who had been on the MotoGP front row at the previous four rounds but lost out to Stoner by 0.174sec on Saturday. Pedrosa is just seven points in front of Stoner in the championship.

    Colin Edwards confirmed his position as best of the rest with his fourth fifth-place start in a row for the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. The Texan was the last rider within one second of Lorenzo and a safe 0.306sec in front of LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet - back on form after using the four-week break since Misano to allow his ankle fracture to heal.

    After a poor first day, Loris Capirossi and Suzuki claimed a commendable seventh on the grid, ahead of Pedrosa's factory Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden and Pramac Ducati's Mika Kallio.

    A difficult session for San Carlo Honda Gresini saw Alex de Angelis (11th) and Toni Elias (13th) either side of Tech 3's James Toseland, with Pramac's Niccolo Canepa slipping to 14th after holding seventh with 19 minutes to go.

    A sore Chris Vermeulen was 15th on the second Suzuki with Hayate's Marco Melandri - 17th and slowest in both free practice sessions - at least beating rookie Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda).

    Rossi: We need more traction. 

    MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi will start Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix from second on the grid, after losing out on pole by 0.260sec to team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo.

    Third in both free practice sessions, Rossi and his side of the Fiat Yamaha garage had made tangible improvements to his M1 by the close of qualifying - although the Italian needs more traction for the race, which he will start with a 30 point advantage over Lorenzo.

    "We improved the setting a lot this afternoon from yesterday and managed to fix a lot of the problems we had in the braking, so today was not so bad,” said Rossi. “We still need more traction on the exits from the slow corners however and we are also losing some time in the tight hairpin. 

    “We are not so far but we need to study the data and find a way to improve things a bit more for the race. It will be quite a strong fight tomorrow I think and 28 laps in this heat is going to be hard, but we will be ready,” he declared.

    "We still have some work to do to make another step and get to what will probably be tomorrow's race pace - it looks like we're a little bit slower at the moment,” admitted team manager Davide Brivio. “Tomorrow's warm-up will be important and we will use the time as best we can in order to be ready to fight.”

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