Lorenzo on Pole for Qatar MotoGP
2012 Qatar MotoGP Pole Results
Up until the third and final free practice session on Friday, the reigning MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner was the setting the pace at Losail International Circuit, Qatar, for round 1 of the 2012 MotoGP Championship.
But the Repsol Honda rider fell back to third in Free Practice 3, which was headed up by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. In second after FP3 was another Yamaha, the satellite YZR-M1 ridden by Monster Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, and then Stoner.
And Lorenzo replicated this performance Saturday in qualifying for Qatar MotoGP. While on soft Bridgestone qualifying tires, the Spaniard, a 2010 MotoGP Champion, posted a 1:54.634 aboard the 1000cc YZR-M1. It’s worth noting that last year’s pole-position time aboard the 800cc RC212V of Casey Stoner was a 1:54.137, more than a half-second slower.
Back to 2012, and Stoner wouldn’t allow Lorenzo take the pole by much. The Australian trailed Lorenzo by 0.221 of a second, and was the final rider to post under the 1:55 mark.
Taking the final front-row position was Crutchlow, who trailed Stoner by 0.167 of a second. This was the Brit’s best-ever qualifying position in only his second year in the premier class.
Heading up the second row will be Lorenzo’s teammate, Ben Spies. The American posted a 1:55.512, and suffered a crash during the last five minutes of qualifying, which ended his chances for a better time.
Spies, who was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo, was followed 0.125 of a second behind by his fellow American, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden. As for Hayden’s teammate, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, he qualifying in 12th. Taking the final position on the second row was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa will head up the third row, and the Spaniard will be joined by Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, the reigning Moto2 Champion.
Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati’s Karel Abraham suffered crash towards the end of qualifying, but put in a good-enough time for 10th. Joining him on the fourth row will be San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Rossi.
Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team) took the honor of qualifying as the fastest CRT machine in 13th, 0.831s behind Rossi, with Power Electronics Aspar duo Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró getting onto the fifth row with the American. The Frenchman escaped a crash 20 minutes from the end unharmed, MotoGP says.
The 21-rider grid will be back on the Qatar circuit at 6 p.m. local time Sunday for a 20-minute warm up ahead of the first race of 2012, which is set for 10 p.m. local time.
SPEED TV will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 8.
2012 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Results:
|1.||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||327.1||1’54.634|
|2.||1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||331.9||1’54.855||0.221 / 0.221|
|3.||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||328.0||1’55.022||0.388 / 0.167|
|4.||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||326.1||1’55.512||0.878 / 0.490|
|5.||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||334.2||1’55.637||1.003 / 0.125|
|6.||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||328.9||1’55.858||1.224 / 0.221|
|7.||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||330.8||1’55.905||1.271 / 0.047|
|8.||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||337.1||1’55.983||1.349 / 0.078|
|9.||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||334.0||1’56.063||1.429 / 0.080|
|10.||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||333.5||1’56.198||1.564 / 0.135|
|11.||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||334.3||1’56.521||1.887 / 0.323|
|12.||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||338.1||1’56.813||2.179 / 0.292|
|13.||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||314.8||1’57.644||3.010 / 0.831|
|14.||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||309.6||1’58.266||3.632 / 0.622|
|15.||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||312.1||1’58.520||3.886 / 0.254|
|16.||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR-FTR||303.6||1’58.795||4.161 / 0.275|
|17.||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||311.1||1’59.085||4.451 / 0.290|
|18.||54||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||311.5||1’59.195||4.561 / 0.110|
|19.||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||296.8||1’59.664||5.030 / 0.469|
|20.||22||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR-FTR||306.1||2’00.493||5.859 / 0.829|
|21.||77||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||309.9||2’00.757||6.123 / 0.264|