2012 Valencia MotoGP: Honda’s Pedrosa on Pole

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2012 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results

Due to consistent wet conditions in Friday’s free practices, the CRT bikes held nine of the top 11 fastest overall positions. The only fast MotoGP prototypes during Friday’s practices were three Ducatis – Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi, and Cardion AB Racing Ducati’s Karel Abraham.

But much changed Saturday during the final free practice and qualifying, the prototypes and regular MotoGP “aliens” returning to top form.

Leading the way during Saturday’s Qualifying was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who posted a new track record. Joining him on the front row will be Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and the Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.

The RC213V pilot Pedrosa, who will finish second overall in 2012 MotoGP behind Lorenzo, posted a best lap of 1:30.844 during the hour-long qualifying session. This time became a new best lap at Valencia, and was 1.7 seconds quicker than the circuit record set by Casey Stoner in 2008 (Ducati).

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “It was almost a perfect lap and I gave 100% because I knew I wouldn’t be able to improve any more as the tires were very good for the first lap and then the drop in grip was quite severe. I’m very happy with the pole position and the new record because Valentino’s old record was done with qualifying tires. We had only one dry session to test the new asphalt and we saw that the grip level is a little better but the tires dropped down very quick.

“We still have to decide on the tyres for tomorrow because we have used only the soft compound, but it depends on the weather -if it rains we will need to take what we learned yesterday. I really would like to win here and finish the season with a good race.”

Lorenzo put in a last-lap effort to qualify second, 0.351 of a second behind Pedrosa.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It seems like it’s going to be very close tomorrow. Dani is very strong here, not only in the dry but also in the wet and it seems it could be wet for the race. I tried my best for pole position with the last rear tire but I didn’t expect the lap time from Dani. Anyway, second place is good and the important thing is the race. Maybe the story will be different tomorrow.”

The retiring Stoner was strong throughout qualifying, but could not match Pedrosa’s time towards the end. Stoner, who says he didn’t like the new tarmac at Valencia, finished 0.584 of a second behind Pedrosa.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Qualifying didn’t really go to plan, it was a pretty frustrating session. Due to the miserable weather this weekend, we had a lot of work to do in a very short space of time, we did make some good progress but unfortunately we couldn’t find enough before the end of the session.

“There is a new surface here and we expected everything to be really good and smooth but in fact we’ve found there are a lot of bumps on the circuit. Now I’m thinking how we can improve the bike and get everything working a little easier. We need to adapt the electronics to allow me to be less restricted on this track so I can ride how I want to. Hopefully the weather is dry tomorrow and we can take that extra step in warm up.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow heads up the second row, the Brit qualifying 0.668 of a second behind Pedrosa. Joining him on the second row will be LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian Dovi was the final rider to post within a second of Pedrosa.

Nicky Hayden took the top Ducati time, qualifying seventh on the grid. Hayden will be joined on the third row by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera.

Qualifying 10th was Power Electronics Aspar CRT’s Aleix Espargaro, who was quicker than the man in 11th – Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi. Rossi had a tough qualifying session for his final round with Ducati before moving to factory Yamaha next season.

The 22-rider grid will be back at Valencia Sunday for the 2012 MotoGP season finale. SPEED TV will cover the race at 8 a.m. EST. For a preview of Valencia MotoGP, click here.

2012 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1. 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 326.4 1’30.844
2. 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 321.4 1’31.195 0.351 / 0.351
3. 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 322.9 1’31.428 0.584 / 0.233
4. 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 321.4 1’31.512 0.668 / 0.084
5. 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 324.8 1’31.757 0.913 / 0.245
6. 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 321.6 1’31.795 0.951 / 0.038
7. 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 320.7 1’32.503 1.659 / 0.708
8. 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 323.5 1’32.585 1.741 / 0.082
9. 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 327.0 1’32.605 1.761 / 0.020
10. 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 305.7 1’32.834 1.990 / 0.229
11. 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 319.6 1’32.877 2.033 / 0.043
12. 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 306.4 1’33.346 2.502 / 0.469
13. 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 320.3 1’33.442 2.598 / 0.096
14. 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 309.3 1’33.453 2.609 / 0.011
15. 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 303.8 1’33.971 3.127 / 0.518
16. 21 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 315.9 1’33.979 3.135 / 0.008
17. 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 300.0 1’33.980 3.136 / 0.001
18. 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 300.9 1’34.407 3.563 / 0.427
19. 84 Roberto ROLFO ITA Speed Master ART 303.9 1’34.866 4.022 / 0.459
20. 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 304.6 1’34.918 4.074 / 0.052
21. 73 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens BQR 309.1 1’35.363 4.519 / 0.445
22. 71 Claudio CORTI ITA Avintia Blusens Inmotec 300.0 1’36.531 5.687 / 1.168

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