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.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.19Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda313.02’03.303
2.11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha309.52’03.4090.106 / 0.106
3.1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda313.62’03.4230.120 / 0.014
4.99Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha308.72’03.7630.460 / 0.340
5.26Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda313.12’03.8350.532 / 0.072
6.8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati314.62’03.8760.573 / 0.041
7.69Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati309.52’04.1620.859 / 0.286
8.4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha311.72’04.3041.001 / 0.142
9.6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda314.62’05.0351.732 / 0.731
10.46Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati309.72’05.4162.113 / 0.381
11.41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART292.02’06.2832.980 / 0.867
12.14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART292.42’06.3033.000 / 0.020
13.68Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR291.62’06.8143.511 / 0.511
14.51Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR288.92’07.0163.713 / 0.202
15.5Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter290.62’07.3764.073 / 0.360
16.54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART289.22’07.5114.208 / 0.135
17.77James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART292.42’08.2284.925 / 0.717
18.9Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda276.02’08.6865.383 / 0.458
19.22Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR286.32’10.0926.789 / 1.406
17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati
35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha