2010 Phillip Island MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result - Early Pole Settled By Late Rain

Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Phillip Island: 

Casey Stoner has taken an impressive pole position at his home Grand Prix, setting the fastest time in very tricky conditions. Qualifying had started in cold but sunny conditions, with black clouds moving in during the final minutes of qualifying. Stoner had been fastest for most of the session, ceding pole only briefly to Ben Spies and then Jorge Lorenzo. With 10 minutes of the session left, the Marlboro Ducati rider settled the issue for good, taking half a second off Jorge Lorenzo's provisional pole time, then whittling another two tenths off his time with three minutes of the session left.

Stoner had timed his fastest lap perfectly: rain had been spotting the southern part of the track for the last 5 minutes or so, and by the time the rest of the grid prepared to make their final assault on pole, the rain was making track conditions difficult enough to make it impossible to catch the Australian. 

Newly-crowned 2010 champion Jorge Lorenzo will start from 2nd on the grid, the Fiat Yamaha rider unable to improve on his time set with a quarter of the session to go, while Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Ben Spies gets the third front row start of his career, setting his fastest lap in the middle of a race simulation.

San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli had a surprisingly strong qualifying session, and heads up the 2nd row of the grid, ahead of two Americans, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards and Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden. Hayden had a harmless crash exiting the Honda Hairpin with a few minutes to go, a sign that the track was still treacherous in some spots.

LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet will start from 7th, while nine-time world champion - and Phillip Island specialist - Valentino Rossi could manage just the 8th fastest time. The Fiat Yamaha rider had the conditions working against him, but he was not helped by Pramac Ducati's Aleix Espargaro, who balked him on the way out of the hairpin just as he was starting fast lap on soft tires.

Andrea Dovizioso is the first of the factory Repsol Hondas, way down in 9th, while Marco Melandri rounds out the top 10.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'30.107    
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'30.775 0.668 0.668
3 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'31.386 1.279 0.611
4 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'31.402 1.295 0.016
5 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'31.415 1.308 0.013
6 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'31.530 1.423 0.115
7 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'31.554 1.447 0.024
8 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'31.627 1.520 0.073
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'32.018 1.911 0.391
10 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 1'32.367 2.260 0.349
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 1'32.542 2.435 0.175
12 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 1'32.816 2.709 0.274
13 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'33.190 3.083 0.374
14 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'33.224 3.117 0.034
15 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'33.384 3.277 0.160
16 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'33.390 3.283 0.006
17 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'34.269 4.162 0.879
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Its quite funny that Stoner never raced at Phillip Island when he lived in Australia.
As you could not raod race until you where 16 back then.
Silverstone would have been his home track.

A miserable session for the guy with more wins at P.I. than anybody - Rossi.

A comment by Daryl Beattie who was working pit lane during the QP was interesting - he overheard Burgess telling the (increasingly anxious, apparently) team to 'take one mm out of the rear' just before Rossi went out for his last stint. Suggests to me that the Rossi team felt they had sod-all direction to go to try to pick up a vast distance, by Rossi's standards. It looks as if JB will really have to pull magic for tomorrow - and he's been winning at P.I. back to Gardner's day!

This looks to be a dismal race at the front.

Only JLo within a second of Stoner, and over half a second back at that. Throughout the whole session, there were never more than four or five riders within a second of the leader.

Someone out near PI, do a rain dance for me. Maybe then we can avoid what looks to be the most boring procession of the season.

Casey will crash on lap 1 or 3, Jorge will swing it home easily at the front. The usual pattern of season 2010.

But 2nd place is rather open.

And the real important answers in the race will be to these questions:

Will Randy dP beat Valentino?

Will Dani get into the top 10?

Will Simoncelli be the best Honda and make Melandri look even longer in the face?

Will Bautista again show Capirossi how to ride a bike fast style even if it's a nail?

Will one of the Suzi's, Duke's or Yam's spit out their alloy parts during the race?

So it's definitly worth recording the race on hard disk and watch it in fast forward.

We can answer one of those questions already. Dani won't finish in the top 10, as he won't be starting in the race tomorrow. Neither will Capirossi (or so says The Twitter™).

Where did magic_carpet buy that ball ? It even predicts the lap of Casey's crash.
Personally,I hope he wins it.Big weekend for him.Stunning performance from Ben.
Now,I hope the weather plays ball (not of the chrystal variety mind you).

...Stoner fell off on lap one.
It's a whole different thing to catch up with him when he's on it at Phillip Island. The 2008 race was exactly this.

I'm not sure if there's any truth to it but I noticed a blip from somewhere (twitter perhaps) that Ben qualified on race rubber. If so, the race may be more interesting than some people forecast. At a minimum, it'd be nice to see him lock up the Rookie title tonight.


There are no Q tires anymore in MotoGP. I read that he was somewhere in the middle of his race simulation when he did his best lap.

It looks good for Ben tonight if he gets a good start and someone doesn't punt him off the track. I expect he should finish in the top 4 for sure and maybe even podium if it rains.

Go Spies!

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Bridgestone has offered qualifying tires all season. They qualify on race rubber.

Also, I would expect everyone will be on the softest tire made available if the conditions hold until Sunday. Unless Bridgestone is planning to make a special run of Blizzaks available for the race....

Lastly, I hope Spies doesn't wait 2 laps to get up to speed. I'm worried that Simoncelli will barge him off the track if he does.

Having retained a passion for the sport since my own racing days, its sad to admit that I had succumbed to the comfort of the couch to watch the races pretty well since then. Hadnt been to the island since the first two in 89-90, did go to Eastern Creek once but it was a nothing circuit in comparison.
Got there yesterday though to watch practice and qualifying. Couldnt wipe the grin off my face all day... yes the field in motogp is down and thats a disappointment and a worry but still, the sounds (of the dukes in particular), the familiar two stroke oil smell for the 125s and the stunning curcuit and panorama that Phillip Isalnd is/ was ... a grand day out.
I know its been discussed all over but the technical difference that was striking for me was the lack of sliding in comparison to the 500s. I remember back then watching Schwantz and Doohan in particular in the LH corners leading up the the one onto the straight.... they were holding big slides up though the gears and then a little wobble when they momentarily backed off to come onto that final corner... that was the wheels coming back into line.
The 800s just go faster with the traction control misfiring through all of that... yes Stoner and some pull a slide on the big fast corner over the back but its different to how it was.... and you notice it more when you're there.
Passion revived...off the couch again for next year.

On the box yesterday, there was a clip of Stoner doing a two wheel slide around turn 3. Commentators re-iterated the point that Stoner doesn't use much by way of TC. But it was just nice to see. :)
But re the qualifying and the grid, surely you can't read too much into it if the rain started just as some riders were attempting their fast laps???
There should be some hard charging through the pack from Rossi and Dovi especially.