For the first time in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, Dani Pedrosa will start on the front row, the Spaniard qualifying on top after posting a 1:56.591 at Brno Saturday.
The Repsol Honda rider, who lead both free practice sessions on Saturday by almost a half-second, was fast at qualifying, but still 0.268 of a second off his best Friday time.
Joining Pedrosa on the front row at Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, Round 11 of 2011 MotoGP Championship, will be the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda).
For the first half of the Brno qualifying session, it appeared Lorenzo would take the pole, but he was then overtaken by Stoner in the second half. But with Pedrosa had a late-session charge, and took the top time by 0.113 of a second over Lorenzo. The current MotoGP points leader Stoner, who topped Free Practice 3, was 0.269 of a second behind Pedrosa.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “It’s my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I’m very happy for that. The weekend has been pretty good for us so far, the bike is working well and I’m feeling good physically as well.
“We made only a few small changes on the bike and this allowed me to concentrate more on my riding, so let’s hope we are able to keep the pace tomorrow and fight for a good result.
“This is the most important thing and we need to keep our feet on the ground because the rivals are close. I think we can still improve the bike a little, especially on the chassis side to have better grip, even though I guess that the rain this morning affected the conditions on track which made it more slippery”.
Heading up the second row is Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, the Texan posting a 1:57.178. Joining Spies on the second row will be Marco Simoncelli on the San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V, and Valentino Rossi on the Ducati Team GP11.1.
Rossi, who struggled with grip issues during Friday’s free practice sessions, will have his best start of the 2011 MotoGP season at Brno with sixth.
The third Respol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso, was seventh fastest, followed by the American duo of Colin Edwards on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 and Nicky Hayden on the other Ducati Team bike, but the older version GP11.
Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers for Brno MotoGP will be Simoncelli’s teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama.
As for Wildcard Rizla Suzuki entry John Hopkins, the American fractured two fingers during Free Practice 3, and will not start at Brno.
Brno MotoGP will be broadcast on SPEED TV at 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by a re-showing at 5 p.m.
2011 Brno MotoGP Qualifying Results:
|1.||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||298.0||1’56.591|
|2.||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||291.4||1’56.704||0.113 / 0.113|
|3.||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||295.5||1’56.860||0.269 / 0.156|
|4.||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||289.3||1’57.178||0.587 / 0.318|
|5.||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||291.5||1’57.351||0.760 / 0.173|
|6.||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||289.9||1’57.367||0.776 / 0.016|
|7.||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||295.6||1’57.442||0.851 / 0.075|
|8.||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||291.7||1’57.676||1.085 / 0.234|
|9.||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||289.4||1’57.721||1.130 / 0.045|
|10.||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||294.8||1’57.784||1.193 / 0.063|
|11.||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||290.9||1’57.797||1.206 / 0.013|
|12.||24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||294.3||1’58.245||1.654 / 0.448|
|13.||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||295.6||1’58.273||1.682 / 0.028|
|14.||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki||295.6||1’58.274||1.683 / 0.001|
|15.||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||289.2||1’58.889||2.298 / 0.615|
|16.||65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||290.0||1’58.938||2.347 / 0.049|
|17.||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||292.5||1’58.946||2.355 / 0.008|
|21||John HOPKINS||USA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||Suzuki|