Stoner on Pole for Catalunya MotoGP

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2012 MotoGP

Under glorious sunshine in scorching hot temperatures the MotoGP contingent took to the track to battle it out for grid spots for Sunday’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

In the premier class, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who secured his second pole position in dominant fashion ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow.

With a fast lap in the low 1.41s, set with a soft rear tire, Stoner relegated Yamaha Racing Team’s local rider Lorenzo into second on the grid, who was just over a tenth down on the current world champion.

Stoner stated after the session that he will most likely be racing with the hard rear tire, after sighting that the soft compound’s wear rate seems too high for the race.

Rounding out the front row is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who equalled his best ever start, yet will be looking to convert it into a podium for the first time in his MotoGP career. Contrary to Stoner, Crutchlow confirmed that he would be starting the race with the soft compound, as he believes the hard tire does not give a significant advantage.

Just fractionally slower, Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies will start from fourth, putting himself in contention for a much needed positive race result tomorrow. Next to him in fifth is Stoner’s teammate and local favourite Dani Pedrosa, who ran off track in turn 10 on his hot-lap after out-braking himself, and was unable to improve on his time. Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso completes row two in sixth place, after having led the qualifying session in the early stages.

Seventh on the grid is Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who looked strong all day after posting the fifth fastest time in the morning practice. He ousted LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl into eighth, who recovered from a small crash yesterday to finish as top Honda satellite rider.

Ninth spot is occupied by Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, who, following a difficult day yesterday, managed to rediscover some place after reverting back to a carbon fibre swingarm and old settings. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista completes the top ten, failing to emulate his second place in yesterday’s practice.

Highest CRT spot went to Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet in 13th, who managed to beat his local teammate Aleix Espargaró for the first time this weekend. Apart from Pedrosa’s excursion off track, the only other rider to take a detour through the gravel was Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham at the end.

2012 Catalunya MotoGP | Qualifying Results:

Pos.Num.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda334.01’41.295
2.99Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha332.91’41.4410.146 / 0.146
3.35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha334.61’41.5480.253 / 0.107
4.11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha332.21’41.5520.257 / 0.004
5.26Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda334.41’41.6560.361 / 0.104
6.4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha336.01’41.6870.392 / 0.031
7.69Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati332.81’42.0290.734 / 0.342
8.6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda335.11’42.0650.770 / 0.036
9.46Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati338.21’42.1750.880 / 0.110
10.19Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda332.81’42.3561.061 / 0.181
11.8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati333.41’42.3751.080 / 0.019
12.17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati335.31’43.2661.971 / 0.891
13.14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART320.11’43.5002.205 / 0.234
14.5Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter316.11’44.0242.729 / 0.524
15.41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART316.31’44.0412.746 / 0.017
16.51Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR313.21’44.3563.061 / 0.315
17.77James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART314.51’44.7633.468 / 0.407
18.54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART312.71’44.7643.469 / 0.001
19.68Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR312.01’44.8333.538 / 0.069
20.9Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda297.81’45.7304.435 / 0.897
21.22Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR311.91’45.9624.667 / 0.232