Mugello MotoGP: Pedrosa Steals Pole from Lorenzo

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa

2013 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results

In a last lap effort that broke the Mugello circuit record, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa ousted the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo for the pole position at the Grand Prix of Italy.

Pedrosa, who took over the points lead from teammate Marc Marquez after winning at Le Mans two weeks ago, progressively got quicker throughout the four practice session.

He finished just behind Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo in the third free practice, and then led the fourth session. And Pedrosa was able to carry this momentum into qualifying, posting a 1:47.157 to take the 25th pole of his career. This time beat his old pole record set last year at the circuit aboard the Honda RC213V (1:47.284).

Joining Pedrosa on the front row will be Lorenzo, who finished 0.069 of a second, and the man who is dealing with neck pain due to a crash Friday, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian finished 0.471 of a second back.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today the track conditions were good, the tires worked well and we improved the bike. All this helped us a lot to increase our pace and this is the most important thing.

“Qualifying was difficult, because we were behind for a large part of the session, but we managed a great last lap and took pole. Now we have some ideas to improve the bike for tomorrow and hope to have a strong race.”

Lorenzo was quickest most of the qualifying 2 session, breaking the lap record on his first full lap at speed. But the last-lap effort by Pedrosa robbed Lorenzo from taking the pole.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “We still suffer a little bit when the weather is hotter, we don’t have the same grip. Even with this issue we have been competitive though, in the free practice and also in the qualifying.

“I was surprised to be so fast in the first lap when I made a 47.6. I was also surprised about the lap time from Marquez on his first try and also the lap time from Dani. I thought the 47.2 lap was enough for pole position but Dani was faster so it wasn’t.

“The important thing is to make a good start tomorrow, to get in front and to go away if possible. If not possible, the race is long and we have to be consistent. We have to improve some small details but in general the bike is better here than at the other tracks.”

As for Dovi, he was on pain killers due to his neck pain. Regardless, he took his second consecutive front-row start on the Ducati GP13.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team GP13 MotoGP) says: “It feels incredible to make it onto the first row at Mugello, especially as a Ducati rider! It was one of my goals, but I still can’t believe it, particularly after yesterday’s crash.

“The Clinica Mobile and my physiotherapist did a really good job of making my neck feel better, which gave me the opportunity to push hard in qualifying. It still bothers me, but I can push at almost 100 percent, and because yesterday I didn’t even know if I’d be able to race, I’m very happy.

“We worked really well this morning, improving the setup a little, and I was pretty fast this afternoon, but when the tires wear a little our pace isn’t good enough to fight for the podium. Anyway, we’ll try to do our best to get a good result tomorrow for Ducati and all our fans.”

Though he is still riding with a broken leg, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow will head up the front row. The Brit broke his leg at Le Mans, but went on to take his best MotoGP-career finish – second behind Pedrosa.

Crutchlow suffered a crash during Qualifying, but reported it had a positive side because he preferred the setup on the second bike. Joining the Italian on the second row will be LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and the rookie Marquez. As for the Spaniard Marquez, he crashed in the first three free practices, but made it into Q2 after dominating Q1.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, who donned a turtle-inspired helmet at Mugello, fell to seventh in the final moments of qualifying. The local favorite, who like his teammate Lorenzo has three premier-class wins at the circuit, says many riders used the slipstream to get pass him in qualifying, though he was satisfied with his YZR-M1’s pace.

Rossi qualified ahead of Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.

Michele Pirro achieved the first top ten qualifying result for the Ducati GP13 Lab bike, leading the fourth row from Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who unlike on previous occasions had headed directly to Q2.

Failing to pass through to Q2 on his second bike, Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone will start his first premier class home Grand Prix from 13th place, although teammate Ben Spies has pulled out of the weekend as he continues to suffer pain with a pectoral muscle.

Accompanying Iannone on Row 5 will be Randy de Puniet (14th) and Hector Barbera (15th) for their respective Aspar and Avintia Blusens outfits. Gresini CRT runner Bryan Staring managed 22nd position on his 26th birthday, one spot ahead of Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama who had endured two accidents earlier on in the day.

The MotoGP riders will return to the Mugello Circuit Sunday for a warm-up session ahead of the Grand Prix of Italy, which will be broadcast on SPEED TV at 7:30 a.m. EDT Sunday, June 2, preceded by a new half-hour show titled “MotoGP Rewind.”

2013 Mugello MotoGP Qualifying Results:

126Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda340.51’47.157
299Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha338.71’47.2260.069 / 0.069
34Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati341.01’47.6280.471 / 0.402
435Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha340.01’47.6320.475 / 0.004
56Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda340.81’47.7370.580 / 0.105
693Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda338.41’47.7630.606 / 0.026
746Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha340.61’47.8720.715 / 0.109
869Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati339.81’48.0060.849 / 0.134
919Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda342.91’48.3551.198 / 0.349
1051Michele PIRROITADucati Test TeamDucati341.81’48.5641.407 / 0.209
1138Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha333.91’48.7061.549 / 0.142
1241Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART330.51’48.7651.608 / 0.059

1329Andrea IANNONEITAEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati339.91’49.2650.741 / 0.405
1414Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART316.91’49.2660.742 / 0.001
158Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR322.11’49.8471.323 / 0.581
169Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter313.01’50.5181.994 / 0.671
175Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki321.71’50.7012.177 / 0.183
1871Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki321.71’50.7292.205 / 0.028
1970Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM320.71’50.7872.263 / 0.058
2017Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingART322.61’51.0892.565 / 0.302
2168Yonny HERNANDEZCOLPaul Bird MotorsportART316.91’51.2392.715 / 0.150
2267Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda319.31’51.9813.457 / 0.742
237Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR317.01’52.1483.624 / 0.167
2452Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter312.51’52.3453.821 / 0.197
11Ben SPIESUSAIgnite Pramac RacingDucati