2010 Sepang MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result - Last Lap Dash Deposes Surprise Pole Candidate

Results and summary of qualifying practice for the MotoGP class at Sepang:

Jorge Lorenzo has taken pole position for the MotoGP race at Sepang tomorrow, after a determined display throughout qualifying. The Fiat Yamaha rider was close to the front throughout the session, topping the timesheets for much of it and clearly determined to get the best possible starting position for the race in which he looks certain to become MotoGP World Champion for the first time in his career. 

Lorenzo had taken over the top spot from Casey Stoner with 20 minutes of the session gone, and was gradually whittling away his best time, but as the session approached the 40 minute mark, the scoring screens got hectic, everyone out to set their fast qualifying laps. Lorenzo remained on top at first, but was soon joined by the rest of the Yamahas, with the Fiat Yamahas taking the top two spots and the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha riders grabbing 3rd and 4th. Tech 3's Ben Spies soon went one better, grabbing provisional pole from Lorenzo, and the first rider to crack the 2'01 barrier with a lap of 2'01.993. Four minutes later, however, Lorenzo was back, a couple of tenths quicker than the Texan.

The Spaniard's difficulties with Americans was not over, though. With 5 minutes left in the session, a blistering lap by Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden snatched provisional pole from under Lorenzo's nose, but in the final minute, Lorenzo took it back, pushing Hayden back down into 2nd, his best ever qualifying on the Ducati. Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso capped a strong session with the 3rd fastest time, securing the final spot on the front row of the grid.

The second row of the grid is headed up by Ben Spies, who could have done better if he hadn't been accidentally blocked by his teammate on a fast lap, his attempt leaving him in 4th on the grid. In 5th and 6th, two former champions, Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner coming out ahead of Valentino Rossi. Rossi's aim of stealing some of his teammate's glory has been made a lot more difficult, with Lorenzo now on pole and Rossi starting from 6th on the grid. 

Colin Edwards will start the race from 7th, ahead of the two Suzukis of Alvaro Bautista and Loris Capirossi. San Carlo Gresini's Marco Melandri rounds out the top 10.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 2'01.537    
2 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 2'01.637 0.100 0.100
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 2'01.829 0.292 0.192
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 2'01.993 0.456 0.164
5 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 2'02.023 0.486 0.030
6 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 2'02.030 0.493 0.007
7 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 2'02.097 0.560 0.067
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 2'02.394 0.857 0.297
9 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 2'02.522 0.985 0.128
10 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 2'02.624 1.087 0.102
11 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 2'02.690 1.153 0.066
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 2'02.723 1.186 0.033
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 2'02.775 1.238 0.052
14 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 2'02.778 1.241 0.003
15 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 2'02.928 1.391 0.150
16 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 2'04.167 2.630 1.239
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I like the way this qualifying played out. Hopefully we have a good race. Also it looks like a case of the fat fingers again with "the 2'01 barrier with a lap of 2'10.993". Every now and then I do read the articles and not just look at times. This will be one of the qualifying sessions I will watch though.

Didnt see the qualifying but looks as though Stoner and Rossi could be the chargers from the second row.
Hopefully they get to Jorge or Dovi before they bolt.
Jorge tends to build speed through the race so it could play out that way.
Whats the forecast? Let me guess, hot, hot and wet...or.... really hot and really wet.
Could throw up a race like last year.

Could tomorrow be his big day ? Never a better opportunity for him to seal a great deal with his current employer.I reckon he'll be riding like a man possessed and will definitely want to gap Ben Spies early.
All in all a formidable starting grid which favours a great race.
Hope the weather plays ball.

Well done to Suzuki strong qualifying by both bikes (less than 1's)considering how BAD the bike is supposed to be. could lorenzo actually race to win this weekend instead of safe and wrap up the title in style, if so hope theres no repeat of the motegi whinging when someone dares to pass him. excellent result also for nicky good to see that more than one Ducati actually works well (vale will be pleased) sad to see kallio seems to have given in, is this a case of the bike not suiting the rider? does anyone else think he could have had an easier time on a customer honda?

I'm with Suzuki here when they say that the bike hasn't been ridden to its potential. Sadly, Bautista has had an off track injury and has taken longer to start to show the potential of the GS. No, I'm not delusional, it is far from the level of Honda and Yamaha but it is pretty good electronics aside. It's sad but Loris just can't get going anymore. If they stay with 2 bikes I'd like to see Smith on the 2nd one.

Glad it is the tyres not the shoulder that is the problem for Rossi this weekend. At least that is easier to fix than a dodgy shoulder!

Have to say that Lorenzo has gone down in my estimations following his gripes about the Motegi race. He should have backed off to protect his championship and not pursued the battle with Rossi. To expect him to move over (especially considering Rossi needed the points for third more than he did) was naiive to say the least. Complaining afterwards was a big PR mistake!

Looking forward to a good close race this week, just hope no-one gets a gap early on and it turns into a procession again.

No one complained when Rossi nearly threw it away last year at Sepang when he went wide at turn one despite the championship position he was in. Racers are racers, I don't see why Lorenzo should be treated differently - they all get stroppy when things don't go their way.

All's getting rather tiresome.

Go Spies!

Looking at the 'analysis' on the MotoGP site, I'd guess the race pace is upper 2:02 laptimes. Not many could put a string of those on. Lorenzo, Dovi and Rossi. The rest have a lot of work yet to do. Warm-up should be interesting.

Edit: after looking again, all the Yamaha's seem to be able to string a few 02's, with Lorenzo the most dominant with each tire he tried. Hard to say about Stoner because he doesn't put in but a few laps at a time in the Q session.

If you look at FP2, Spies did a 20+ lap simulation, with 10 laps in the 2.02.8 range. He was the only one to do a long run and he might be a threat at the end of a long, hot day.

If anyone is thinking of Kallio's poorer than normal performance, I read that the shoulder problems he acquired in his Le Mans crash are worse.