Valencia MotoGP: Stoner Takes 12th Pole

2011-valencia-motogp-stoner-takes-12th-pole (1)

2011 MotoGP Finale

As the 2011 MotoGP season progressed throughout 18 rounds, Casey Stoner took 12 poles, his latest arriving this afternoon at Valencia. The Australian has now matched the record poles set in a single season, Stoner joining five-time 500cc Champion Mick Doohan.

And with each pole this season, Stoner usually had a significant gap over the rest of the grid. And Valencia was no different; the 2011 MotoGP Championship’s 1:31.861 was a over a second faster than the man starting second Sunday at Valencia – Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Taking the final spot on the front row was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, the Texan posting a 1.196, trailing Pedrosa by 0.182 of a second.

The lone Frenchman on the 2011 MotoGP grid, Randy de Puniet, carried over his quick free-practice performances into qualifying, placing the Pramac Racing Ducati on top of the second row. De Puniet missed the front row by only 0.061 of a second.

Three-tenths behind De Puniet was Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bauitsta, the Spaniard qualifying fifth. Taking the final second-row position was Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, the Italian posting a 1:33.478 aboard the GP11.1.

Qualifying first on the third row was Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden. The Kentuckian will be joined by Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, who crashed but walked away unharmed, and Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera.

As for Colin Edwards’ substitute on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Josh Hayes, the American Superbike Champion qualified 16th, 4.181 of a second behind Stoner. Valencia MotoGP will be Hayes first time on a Prototype, the Mississippian completing this task at the age of 36.

As for Yamaha Factory Racing Jorge Lorenzo’s substitute rider, Katsuyuki Nakasuga, the Japanese rider was qualified 15th. Nakasuga also substittuted for Lorenzo at Sepang, as the 2010 MotoGP Champion continues to recover from plastic surgery on his fingers as a result of a Motegi crash.

The 2011 MotoGP grid will be back on the Valencia circuit first for a tribute lap for fallen MotoGP hero Marco Simoncelli, who perished in a lap-two crash at Sepang. The Valencia MotoGP race gets underway at 2 p.m. local time.

2011 Valenica MotoGP Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 309.9 1’31.861
2. 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 309.4 1’32.875 1.014 / 1.014
3. 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 303.0 1’33.057 1.196 / 0.182
4. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 305.1 1’33.118 1.257 / 0.061
5. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 305.6 1’33.443 1.582 / 0.325
6. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 303.7 1’33.478 1.617 / 0.035
7. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 304.2 1’33.656 1.795 / 0.178
8. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 306.8 1’33.824 1.963 / 0.168
9. 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 307.8 1’34.186 2.325 / 0.362
10. 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 306.6 1’34.265 2.404 / 0.079
11. 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 303.1 1’34.329 2.468 / 0.064
12. 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 303.3 1’34.671 2.810 / 0.342
13. 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 313.2 1’34.680 2.819 / 0.009
14. 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 305.7 1’34.838 2.977 / 0.158
15. 89 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 299.9 1’35.999 4.138 / 1.161
16. 41 Josh HAYES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 296.1 1’36.042 4.181 / 0.043