2012 Qatar MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Scintillating Battle Goes Down To Wire
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Qatar:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken a sensational pole at Qatar, after a fascinating duel with Casey Stoner to decide the starting grid. Lorenzo's pole breaks Stoner's grip on the position since 2009, and a repeat of the feat he achieved in his rookie year.
It was clear from the start of the session that pole would be decided between the two protagonists for last year's championship. Lorenzo had taken an early lead, the Repsol Honda rider taking over from the Yamaha man after some ten minutes. After the teams switched focus from race setup to qualifying, Stoner took the first shot at pole, seeming to have a strong grip on the position. But as the minutes ticked away, the battle hotted up, Lorenzo taking pole back from Stoner, Stoner responding to recover it, before Lorenzo finally put in a fast lap to take control of pole.
Lorenzo was understandably elated, clearly reaping the rewards of a very strong Yamaha M1. Stoner, meanwhile, ran into the dreaded chattering which has plagued the Honda throughout the preseason, and had no response for Lorenzo. In 3rd, Cal Crutchlow demonstrated his outstanding form on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha 1000, getting close to Stoner's times and putting nearly half a second on Yamaha's second rider Ben Spies. Spies suffered a bizarre crash towards the end of the session, nearly sliding out in Turn 2, trying to hang on to the bike before losing the battle.
Nicky Hayden is the first of the Factory Ducatis, the American just over a second behind Lorenzo, and ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso and the second Repsol bike of Dani Pedrosa. Pramac Ducati's Hector Barbera will start from 8th, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Karel Abraham.
Valentino Rossi struggled through a miserable qualifying to end the session over two seconds behind Lorenzo, his former teammate, and less than a second ahead of the fastest CRT rider, Colin Edwards on the NGM Mobile Suter BMW.
|14||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'58.266||3.632||0.622|