2011 Catalunya MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Unexpected Polesitter Takes Tight Pole

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

Marco Simoncelli has taken his debut pole in the MotoGP class with a blistering lap to just edge Casey Stoner into 2nd. Simoncelli had been not far off the pace of the Australian throughout practice so far, but Stoner looked to have everything under control. However, a failure to get the soft tire to work meant that Stoner came up short while Simoncelli improved his time to bump the Repsol Honda man into 2nd place.

Jorge Lorenzo took the final spot on the front row of the grid, bumping his Yamaha teammate Ben Spies back into 4th in the dying seconds of the session. Spies in turn had demoted Andrea Dovizioso, who looked like securing a front row start for a good part of the session. 

Cal Crutchlow put in another impressive effort to secure 6th, and the final spot on the second row of the grid, finishing just ahead of the Marlboro Ducati of Valentino Rossi. Nicky Hayden qualified just behind his teammate in 8th, while the two Spaniards, Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista and Mapfre Aspar's Hector Barbera, ended the session in 9th and 10th respectively.

Simoncelli's pole was not very well received by the Spanish fans, predictably after his crash with Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans which saw the Spaniard break his collarbone, but it was a demonstration of how easily Simoncelli can shut the distractions out and concentrate on going fast. In an effort to calm the crowds, Lorenzo congratulated Simoncelli on his pole in parc ferme. But Simoncelli's pole, with Lorenzo on the front row alongside him, promises fireworks for tomorrow.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'42.413    
2 27 Casey STONER HONDA 1'42.429 0.016 0.016
3 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'42.728 0.315 0.299
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'42.742 0.329 0.014
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'42.749 0.336 0.007
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'43.202 0.789 0.453
7 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'43.223 0.810 0.021
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'43.228 0.815 0.005
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'43.447 1.034 0.219
10 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'43.656 1.243 0.209
11 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'43.734 1.321 0.078
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'43.764 1.351 0.030
13 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 1'44.068 1.655 0.304
14 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'44.510 2.097 0.442
15 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'45.661 3.248 1.151
5 Colin EDWARDS   YAMAHA    


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Love to see that SuperSic hasn't been affected by #1 talk. Good also to see that Yamaha find something, though the Honda are still one step ahead. It would be great if even Ducati manage to close a bit the huge gap they have.
Congratulations to Spies and a very impressive Cal ... considering he doesn't know the tracks and that he's not riding a Honda ... next year he could be the next Simoncelli. Very agressive riding, very fast. Love the guy.

I am in the 'Simmo dunnit' camp, but good for him to strike back after all the controversy.

of bringing crash.net style posts or echoes here. If you feel like replying to them well .... leave your comment there. It would fit better (and be more logical).

Nobody (well, the core) here is interested in arguing against a rider or is happy if somebody misses pole.

What we love is to see everyone racing at their best and fair competition everywhere. It's great if everyone doesn't hurt itself (well, himself since they are all boys) if the new guys perform well and step up the challenge. Possibly Yamaha and Ducati particularly catching up with HRC. Which doesn't mean that Honda shouldn't be congratulated for their blazing improvements. We don't wish Honda to go slower. We hope the others will go faster. And Sic can stay up, Dani & Colin will be back soon and so on.....

Plus there are some very good technical posts (not from me, I am pretty ignorant). This is the second reason that makes this site not crash.net. And no interest in becoming anyway similar.
(The first one? Pretty easy Mister Emmett dank u well)

which post are you referring too? Just curious :)

Line astern. The Ducati launches well. Simmo's pole,Ben on the money and Valentino not on the pace,but on the grippy side of the launch pad.
I hope Catalunya smiles on all the riders tomorrow. Heading into turn 1 is crucial for the race. I hope sanity prevails for at least the opening 2 laps.
Simmo has a great shot at his first podium,providing he does not 'bog' his start.
Generally,all going clean,its shaping up as a Casey/Geoge battle.
Mind you,Jerez recently promised the same.
The morning warm up will tell a story of its own no doubt,but the table is set.

The ducati launches well but not as well as the honda and from way back Rossi will have his work cut out.
But he has much better race pace than Cal and Spies and slightly better pace than Dovi.. Hopefully the front 3 will make a race of it. Oh and Simo to make a hard but fair lunge for the front early on. He will be hanging out for this one.

Ducati launches well, Rossi is not a great starter that evens out. The magical combo is Honda/Pedrosa.

to pass Rossi at the last straight :)

Jokes aside it should be an interesting race, hopefully. JLo pace will make for it but I am not so confident he can stay with the Honda. I believe we will miss Dani a lot tomorrow.

But it does seem to me that the factory Ducati`s are slowly getting closer to the Yamaha`s in how competitive they are (understand the Dukes were using heavier cranks in their motors for the 1st time in a race meeting)
With riders of the calibre of Rossi/Hayden and De Puniet/Capirossi they should be much further up in the results.
But i can`t see anyone beating Stoner in the race as long as he does not have a problem,them factory Honda`s are the bikes to beat this year.

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago after the LeMans debacle, but forgot. With this talk of the Honda being the bike to beat and Yamaha and Ducati making improvements, I thought I'd add an observation I made after the last race that hasn't really been brought up much.

Yes, Rossi's podium was really a 5th place were it not for a little boneheadedness. That seemed to be repeated often in the aftermath. What WASN'T brought up so much was the fact that Rossi's was the highest placed bike that didn't say "Honda" on the fairing. What seemed to be lost on everyone was not so much that Rossi's podium was undeserved, but that he beat Lorenzo straight-up in a fair fight on a dry track. From the third row.

It seems every weekend it takes them until the last minute to find some kind of race pace (new bike/rider combo, so expected), but Rossi has still been at the pointy end of things all season long (you can forgive a 7th in his first race at Qatar...). What I'm saying is that there DOES seem to be some potential there in that bike/rider combo come race time. The Honda seems unstoppable at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rossi, Lorenzo, Simoncelli, Dovizioso, and Spies mixing it up pretty well for the leftovers. I wouldn't try predicting this one just yet based strictly off of bike manufacturer.

On the other hand, Saturday morning Rossi goes and suffers his first Ducati front end mystery washout, and I'm left wondering if there's really been any progress made at all...