MotoGP qualifying results report Donington (photos)
Valentino Rossi took pole position number four of the 2009 season on Saturday afternoon with the fastest lap of MotoGP qualifying at Donington Park. The Fiat Yamaha rider’s time of 1’28.116 gave him his first top spot for the British Grand Prix since 2005 – the last occasion in which he won at the Midlands track.
Rossi now has twice as many pole positions as he did for the entire 2008 season and, following his pole position last week in Germany, heads the qualifying timesheet for consecutive races for the first time since the beginning of 2007. His hot lap came at the end of the session in a frantic shootout, in which he sent Dani Pedrosa, the top man in both Free Practice sessions, packing by just under a tenth of a second.
Teammate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo was also hot on the Italian’s heels, placing third on the grid and maintaining his 100% record of front row starts in the current campaign. He relegated Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner, who lowsided at Macleans for his second fall of the day, to the second line by just 0.044.
Andrea Dovizioso and Colin Edwards join Stoner on row two, riding for Repsol Honda and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha respectively. Edwards’ teammate and the only home rider in the premier class, James Toseland equaled his best qualifying performance of the year with ninth in the session.
In addition to Stoner’s fall, Scot Racing rider Gabor Talmacsi also came off his bike during the run-out.
MotoGP Qualifying Practice
|ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||1’28.116|
|SPA||Repsol Honda Team|| +|
|SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team|| +|
|AUS||Ducati Marlboro Team|| +|
|ITA||Repsol Honda Team|| +|
|USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3|| +|
|ITA||Hayate Racing Team|| +|
|SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini|| +|
|GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3|| +|
|FRA||LCR Honda MotoGP|| +|
|FIN||Pramac Racing|| +|
|RSM||San Carlo Honda Gresini|| +|
|AUS||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP|| +|
|ITA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP|| +|
|USA||Ducati Marlboro Team|| +|
|ITA||Pramac Racing|| +|
|HUN||Scot Racing Team MotoGP|
Hectór Barberá took his third pole position in four races with a final throw of the dice in the 250cc category, as the Spaniard looks for a second victory of 2009. Riding the PepeWorld Aprilia RSA, Barberá was just 0.094 quicker than Marco Simoncelli when the session was shut down.
Hiroshi Aoyama bounced back from a morning cylinder problem to clock the third fastest time of the session, just over two-tenths of a second down on Barberá’s 1’31.802 hot lap. He starts from the front row as the World Championship leader, with the final spot on the first row occupied by Alex Debón.
Mike di Meglio out-qualified Mapfre Aspar teammate Álvaro Bautista for the first time in his rookie year, heading the second row. Bautista ended his 100% record of front row starts in 2009 after suffering the after-effects of two crashes in previous sessions, but will begin from sixth. Mattia Pasini, a faller in qualifying, and Ratthapark Wilairot complete the row.
Bradley Smith will start his home Grand Prix sitting on 125cc pole position for the second time this season. The Bancaja Aspar rider had to pull something special out of his box of tricks in the final minute of the qualifying session, duly obliging with a 1’37.442 lap to grab the top spot from Marc Marquez.
Red Bull KTM rider Marquez separates Smith and World Championship leader Julián Simon on the grid, with third Aspar rider Sergio Gadea putting the entire squadron on the front line for only the second time this year. Simón had crashed early on in the session.
Row two continues the Spanish theme, lining up Joan Olivé, Nico Terol, Pol Espargaró and German rider Sandro Cortese.
The British Grand Prix MotoGP race starts at 3.30pm local time, with 125cc commencing at 12.30pm and 250cc at 1.45pm.