2012 Qatar MotoGP FP3 Result: Lorenzo Takes Top From Crutchlow and Stoner

Jorge Lorenzo has topped the final session of free practice, the factory Yamaha rider taking top spot after a storming performance from Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow. Crutchlow had been fast all session, putting in a blistering lap with a few minutes to go, only to see Lorenzo blast past in the final moments. Fastest man of the first to FP session Casey Stoner was relegated to 3rd, the Repsol Honda man struggling with grip on his bike, and missing out on the opportunity to post a fast lap by stopping to remonstrate with a slower rider on his out lap.

Andrea Dovizioso made it three Yamahas in the top four, with only a crash by Ben Spies earlier in the session preventing it from being four bikes at the top. Dani Pedrosa ended the session in 5th, ahead of Pramac Ducati's Hector Barbera, who had posted a fast lap early in the session getting a tow from a faster rider. Nicky Hayden led the factory Ducati duo, 1.1 seconds behind Lorenzo and just over a tenth faster than teammate Valntino Rossi, while LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl won the battle of the satellite Hondas, holding off Alvaro Bautista to take 9th. Randy de Puniet won the battle of the CRTs this time, just edging Colin Edwards by a narrow margin.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'55.302    
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'55.456 0.154 0.154
3 1 Casey STONER HONDA 1'55.674 0.372 0.218
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 1'55.905 0.603 0.231
5 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'56.114 0.812 0.209
6 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'56.163 0.861 0.049
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'56.402 1.100 0.239
8 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'56.535 1.233 0.133
9 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'56.751 1.449 0.216
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 1'56.771 1.469 0.020
11 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'57.030 1.728 0.259
12 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'57.223 1.921 0.193
13 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'58.261 2.959 1.038
14 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 1'58.310 3.008 0.049
15 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 1'58.800 3.498 0.490
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR-FTR 1'59.087 3.785 0.287
17 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'59.169 3.867 0.082
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 1'59.517 4.215 0.348
19 22 Ivan SILVA BQR-FTR 2'00.035 4.733 0.518
20 54 Mattia PASINI ART 2'00.226 4.924 0.191
21 77 James ELLISON ART 2'00.563 5.261 0.337


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u make it sound like Barbera uses a rope to latch on the fast guys...maybe he does have to follow someone but at least he shows how fast the Ducati can be when ridden by someone who obviously doesn't care about front end feel very much...Rossi or Nicky could try and follow someone too but don't have the balls (or too much brains maybe) to follow anyone fast into the corners

I had forgotten about him until just now. This dude is fraudulent. Of course he can latch on and follow people to get a better time. Drafting them down the straights. At least Nicky and Vale set their own times without drafting at all. They may worry about the front end, but it is still more honest than drafting someone, or anyone for that matter to better PRACTICE times. On top of that, where is he come race day? Nowhere, sliding backwards from wherever he qualified. I bet he gets whooped in the race, I bet that!

I would not be surprised in the near future, someone just looses it, (temper), while he is following them. What he does is way too blatant, hope he stops soon.

Barbara gains his advantage following other riders by drafting on the straights - and Qatar has a very long front straight. He certainly wasn't going deep into the corners following Abraham. If he was learning how deep he could go in, all he would need to do is follow a fast guy for a lap or two and then he could turn fast laps by himself. But he can't do that - he needs the draft on the straights to turn a fast (for him) lap. No disrespect to Barbara but not everyone is as talented as Stoner and Lorenzo.

Drafting Karel and turned a lap .8 faster than him. I don't have a problem with getting a tow but after getting a tow and passing Karel, Hector proceeded to slow down and completely balk Abraham into T1. Now that's not too cool.

Getting a tow is a part of racing but usually only important in a race. IMO Hector has ruined it for himself by doing it too much in meaningless practices as I'm sure the other riders are making sure to stay far from him in QP. Once the race starts its irrelevant as he slips backwards as a tow is only good for so much.


It looked like Randy crashed. Wonder if he got hurt in the crash, he was limping after he got up. RDP and Colin Edwards are two people I am rooting for to do better than expected on the CRTs. Hopefully RDP is not out of the race.

Did not see Ben Spies crash, but it must have tweaked his neck pretty badly,he looked like he was feeling pretty stiff. Hope he gets well for his sake. He is my hands down favorite American, (have not seen an American with as much potential to take a championship since Kenny Roberts Jr.) Being American I am a little biased, but those words from Lin Jarvis about seeing no reason why Ben Spies should be up there on the podium more this year sound ominous indeed, but not unfair, or untrue. Whatever injuries he gets, he is going to have to go to Clinica Mobile and get taped and shot up to deal with it. Because if he gets kicked off the Yamaha Factory Team I do not see him being given another chance by any other Factory. Wish him the best of luck. Waiting to see him on Race Day before I have a mental meltdown about his situation.

I agree with whorida. Best of luck to Ben. It's as good as it's going to get for him. But the same should be said for Pedrosa. I think he should be the one looking over his shoulder. The alien status has been whittled down to two.

Looked like Stoner was on the hard rear tyre, even in the end of the session. At least Lorenzo and Crutchlow had the soft, with white painted stripes.

Was this, by the way, the first session since the end of season 2011, that Stoner was not in the top spot?

Some early observations:

The Ducati's are the fastest bikes in a straight line. In '07, Stoner had a 12kph advantage over Rossi at Qatar, widely held to be a massive benefit. In '12, Hayden has a 9.1 kph advantage over Lorenzo, but I don't see the same flags being waved..

We start the year without the 'Honda have a huge advantage over Yamaha' syndrome. Is it possible we could go through a season without the 'it's all the bike' nonsense?

Lorenzo and Stoner appear to be well settled as the top two, but the third step looks likely to be a cage-fight every race.

Anybody willing to place a bet on '12 being the tightest championship since '06?

The elephant in the room is fuel consumption.....
Top speeds are often the result of a team choosing to pull a taller top gear (or sprocket sizes depending on the path they decide to take). And a taller top gear at Qatar may reduce the fuel consumption quite a bit with that looooooooong straight.

And as this is the last unknown, I will be watching it closely. We know who's fast, we know the Ducatis have improved, we know the slightly softer Bridgestone carcas has improved tyre warm-up times but introduced chatter into the mix.
But we don't know who can still turn a blistering lap at race end, and who will be going slower as they move to a fuel map that gets them to the finish.
Oh, and we don't know who will be the first CRT rider to have the dubious honour of being lapped during a race, or whether Casey will slap him on the noggin on the way past if he proves troublesome....... :-)

I think the question of fuel is very pertinent. especially for someone like Stoner and Spies who almost need a spinning sliding bike, i worry that could hurt.

David, i do think it's a little unfair to say that Stoner lost the chance of a quick lap due to remonstrating a slower rider. To me it looked like he was very much balked by said slower rider before any remonstrating was done.

Oscar, we all know that a 12km/h top speed difference is what counts...not a 9.1km/h advantage.

"have not seen an American with as much potential to take a championship since Kenny Roberts Jr."

You saw no potential in Hayden? Even when he won the championship? Harsh.

@ rabid dog : how can fuel consumption be assessed after free practice. Sure they might be trying some race settings but we have no idea at this point how anyone is going to qualify and their race pace is unknown too.

But.......i still love the fact that it seems closer than we thought.
Let the racing begin after a long break.

Even Americans are quite critical of their own riders. Rainey coming out and pretty much slagging off all of them in the media was harsh and uncalled for. Saying that Edwards should have gone home long ago, that Nicky is a long way from being great, and Spies better start doing something... kind of made me lose a bit of respect for him.

Agree that it was innaccurate to say that Stoner missed his chance on a flier to remonstrate with a slower rider. As if! Casey goes for the throat, he's not going to throw away a chance just cause he wants to waggle his finger. Anyway, FPis just that. Qualifying is what counts, you can almost guarantee you will see the #1 plate in the #1 spot. I can't wait, and I'll be up at 1.45am (yawn) excited as all hell! !

To clarify what mean. Yes, Nicky Hayden had potential. But he has not proven to be the rider that Kenny Roberts Jr was. Before Kenny won his title he had won 4 races on a bike that was not the best (Honda), or second best (Yamaha), but third rate Factory (Suzuki). One of those wins, he beat MICK DOOHAN. That is more wins in a year than Nicky has in his whole Motogp career, which was spent mostly on arguably the best bike, (except for after he won the championship, Honda just punked him and jocked Pedrosa). Hell, Colin Edwards and John Hopkins have said far worse than anything I said about Nicky on the Doctor, The Tornado, The Kentucky Kid. I am just looking at facts.

So, to not go on and on. This is what I mean by Champion potential. Being a winner before winning a championship. Nicky won at Laguna Seca, a track he knew inside out, and one that intimidated many who had not raced it before. Kenny won in Japan, Malaysia, Argentina, Germany in his first year winning, no home track advantage. So as far as potential, KRjr just seemed to have a higher potential. And I put Ben closer to KR than NH.

Not saying Nicky did not deserve a Championship, because if anyone earned one through hard work and preseverance, it was Nicky. But he did not show the potential that Ben or Kenny showed IMO.

Yes, it was his last flying lap he was held up on (Stoner posted a personal best 1st sector). His time at that point was such, that even completing the fast lap he would not have been able to finish before the checkered flag.

It was a flying lap and Stoner wasn't gonna make it for another one, so why to miss the opportunity to make a point to his slower brethren. This is the easiest and the best way to learn from your mistake - when somebody points it to you. Blocking faster riders may be part of the sport, but an ugly one.
Lorenzo looks tense, I haven't seen world champion to enjoy winning FP that much :)
And about the CRTs. At that point, we have nine bikes and seven riders not ready for Moto GP. At that point, they present a safety issue for themselves and the others. They might be good for the future of the sport (or might not be), but definitely a burden in the present.