Silverstone MotoGP: Bautista’s Maiden Pole

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2012 Hertz British Grand Prix

For the first time in his premier-class career, San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista earned a pole-position start.

This historical event for the Spaniard arrived following a drama-filled qualifying session Saturday for the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Bautista set some lap times in the low 2:03s in the beginning of the hour-long qualifying session, and when rain began towards the end, a time when the lowest laps are usually set, nobody was able to challenge Bautista.

The satellite Honda RC213V rider posted a 2:03.303 to take the pole, 0.106 of a second ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies. Taking the final front-row starting position was Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, who trailed Stoner by 0.120 of a second.

During qualifying, many riders went off the track and crashed, including Spies. As for Stoner, who posted the quickest times during two of the three free practice sessions, the reigning MotoGP Champion reported he struggled with chatter aboard the front end of the RC213V.

The current points leader, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, will head up the second row, though his progress was slowed during a mistake at turn 6 during his “hot lap.” Joining Lorenzo on the second row will be Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera.

MotoGP says seventh place is occupied by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who managed to post his fast lap before crashing out at Vale corner in the latter stages. In eighth, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso was unusually low down the order, after having impressed in free practice this morning. The top 10 is rounded out by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, riding with an injured finger after a crash this morning, as well as Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, who had a near carbon-copy crash to Hayden in the same corner at the start of the session. Both Ducati riders walked away unscathed. Best CRT finisher was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró in 11th.

The Qualifying Practice did not include local rider Cal Crutchlow, as he crashed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in the morning practice, injuring his ankle. He is currently undergoing medial checks in hospital to determine whether he will be fit to race tomorrow. Also, the race will not include Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, who was declared unfit to race this weekend.

Bautista’s pole position is the first time since the Assen TT race last year that Lorenzo, Stoner or Pedrosa have not started from first. At that race, it was also the San Carlo squad that took top spot with the late Marco Simoncelli, MotoGP says.

2012 Silverstone MotoGP Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 313.0 2’03.303
2. 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 309.5 2’03.409 0.106 / 0.106
3. 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 313.6 2’03.423 0.120 / 0.014
4. 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 308.7 2’03.763 0.460 / 0.340
5. 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 313.1 2’03.835 0.532 / 0.072
6. 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 314.6 2’03.876 0.573 / 0.041
7. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 309.5 2’04.162 0.859 / 0.286
8. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 311.7 2’04.304 1.001 / 0.142
9. 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 314.6 2’05.035 1.732 / 0.731
10. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 309.7 2’05.416 2.113 / 0.381
11. 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 292.0 2’06.283 2.980 / 0.867
12. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 292.4 2’06.303 3.000 / 0.020
13. 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 291.6 2’06.814 3.511 / 0.511
14. 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 288.9 2’07.016 3.713 / 0.202
15. 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 290.6 2’07.376 4.073 / 0.360
16. 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 289.2 2’07.511 4.208 / 0.135
17. 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 292.4 2’08.228 4.925 / 0.717
18. 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda 276.0 2’08.686 5.383 / 0.458
19. 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 286.3 2’10.092 6.789 / 1.406
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha