Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Jerez:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken his second pole in succession, getting the better of fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa in a battle for supremacy that raged for most of the second half of qualifying. Lorenzo took pole on as the clock ticked down to zero, and though Pedrosa chased the pole time for the first three sectors, by the time he crossed the line he had to concede defeat. The Yamaha man will start from pole, with the Repsol Honda of Pedrosa beside him in 2nd.
But Lorenzo and Pedrosa did not have it their own way. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow was the revelation of qualifying, building on the outstanding race result from Qatar. He sat atop the timesheets for most of the session, only losing out once Lorenzo and Pedrosa ratcheted up the pace to extraterrestrial levels. Ducati's Nicky Hayden added insult to injury by just squeaking past Crutchlow in the final minutes, taking 3rd from him by just seven thousandths of a second, and proving that the Ducati was still capable of being competitive, even in the as-good-as-dry conditions that qualifying was run under.
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner never quite found his feet during qualifying, going fast, but never quite fast enough to match the pace of the two Spaniards at the front. Stoner ended the session in 5th, just ahead of the second factory Yamaha of Ben Spies. After struggling during the early sessions, Spies finally got to grips with the bike in QP, ending the day in 6th, just ahead of Andrea Dovizioso on the second Monster Tech 3 bike, who heads up the third row in 7th spot.
The two satellite Hondas complete the 3rd row, Alvaro Bautista just beating rookie Stefan Bradl to clinch 8th. Randy de Puniet was the first of the CRT bikes, and as predicted, got in amongst the factory prototypes, taking 10th spot and demoting the satellite Ducatis of Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera to 11th and 12th. After the euphoria of 2nd on Friday, Valentino Rossi had a long way to fall, struggling to a dismal 13th position, nearly three and a half seconds slower than his erstwhile teammate Jorge Lorenzo, and nearly two and a half seconds behind his current teammate Nicky Hayden.
The weather for Sunday remains uncertain, with rain expected in the morning, but the chance of a drying track later in the afternoon. Whatever the qualifying positions, much could change come Sunday.
|10||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'41.700||2.168||0.150|