2012 Jerez MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Duel For Pole Goes Down To The Wire

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.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'39.532    
2 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'39.667 0.135 0.135
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'40.563 1.031 0.896
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'40.570 1.038 0.007
5 1 Casey STONER HONDA 1'40.577 1.045 0.007
6 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'41.090 1.558 0.513
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 1'41.180 1.648 0.090
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 1'41.447 1.915 0.267
9 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 1'41.550 2.018 0.103
10 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'41.700 2.168 0.150
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'41.724 2.192 0.024
12 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'41.871 2.339 0.147
13 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'42.961 3.429 1.090
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'43.135 3.603 0.174
15 51 Michele PIRRO FTR 1'43.363 3.831 0.228
16 54 Mattia PASINI ART 1'44.308 4.776 0.945
17 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 1'44.467 4.935 0.159
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 1'44.645 5.113 0.178
19 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 1'44.717 5.185 0.072
20 77 James ELLISON ART 1'45.724 6.192 1.007
21 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 1'46.200 6.668 0.476


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I felt Cal had it in the bag (as perhaps he did too) half way through. I was thinking what the hell was Lorenzo doing down in 13th with thick black clouds lingering? But like the Toreador he is he simply ignored the rain drops and kept it pinned - for another half hour. Sensational riding by Jorge. Pedrosa also looked like he had it all under control. Oh for a dry fight between these two ( plus Stoner?) tomorrow.

Crutchlow and Hayden gutsy rides. RdeP. Wow. He really suits this renegade role.

Rossi. Well no doubt he is much better than this. He really appears to be undergoing a champions transformation of Poggiali proportions. To my mind his number one problem is he has been intimidated by the D16 since he first threw a leg over it in Nov 2010, and remains so. Until now I haven't doubted his desire to give it his all. Now I'm much less certain. Second to the intimidation is that he has been mentally crushed by JL & CS - no question. Thirdly perhaps the Simoncelli incident has subconsciously dulled another edge. And all at a favourite circuit like Jerez?! There has to be genuine doubt about Rossi finishing the year if he continues in this vein. A downward spiral of this magnitude is an extremely difficult one to pull out of.

Looking forward for the race, should be interesting!

It's impossible not to focus on Ducati and Rossi though (for the worst reasons).
If Rossi doesn't get a decent position at Jerez, being one of his favorite circuits (if not "the favorite") then it won't get any better this year. Not with the current racebike.

That racebike might be a stinking bit of poo but something is definitely going wrong with his confidence (look at his teammate) and I wouldn't say that JL & CS have mentally crushed him - I actually think he done that all on himself, by himself.
Acknowledging that you made perhaps the worst mistake of your career, and having burned bridges along the way, when all that was unnecessary at such point in life... can certainly mess anyone's mind.
Simoncelli can be another related matter, although completely different and of extremely unfortunate proportions.

The past is written, can't be changed and Rossi will be remembered for countless victories. The future is already well secured in the hands of other great talents in there and the races will be interesting in any case. Still, it's pretty sad and impossible not to notice the present day, with such legendary bike manufacturer and rider getting this low in the results.

I can't really recall anything like this (Mamola with the Cagiva in '88 and '89 perhaps?).

What the heck is Edwards doing in last place, nearly a second off from the lowest placing CRT's? Something must have gone horribly wrong out there.

Cal and Nicky are certainly showing what they are made of on these bigger bikes. Regarding the Duck, I think it must favor the "steer with the rear" style of supermoto/dirt-tracking Hayden. Rossi just can't make that thing work. Maybe he needs to watch videos of his team-mate to figure out what to do. Other guys have had to change to their styles to adapt to different bikes. Why should Rossi be any different?

I guess he tried, and he told in an interview i am not able to ride. He rode with the front wheel throughout his life. he's too old to adjust and adapt now. Will be very difficult. But the bigger picture is, ducati needs to give a bike which is not poles apart. Till 2010, casey rode very well, and hayden was at the other end. But now Hayden is in the front and Rossi at the back. Looks like they need a more neutral ride which the riders can adapt to by changing the settings and geometry, rather than a new bike itself. This is exactly where Ducati has consistently failed, including the WSBK.

proof to back my theory: Honda has 2 bikes, and both are able to adjust well to it, and so you can see them both in the front. Same for Yamaha. Yamaha was at the pinnacle during 2008-2009. For ducati, Stoner was in the front from 2007-2010, and no other rider was fighting for any position. Esp the factory riders.. The rider input and talent also plays a role, but without a neutral bike, Ducati or Rossi have no chance...

For ducati, Stoner was in the front from 2007-2010, and no other rider was fighting for any position.

Hayden had some decent results during 2009/2010, finishing 3rd in Aragon 2010. It's true, he didn't set the world on fire, but compared to the rest who got crushed by the bike he kept himself afloat.

But now Hayden is in the front and Rossi at the back. Looks like they need a more neutral ride which the riders can adapt to by changing the settings and geometry, rather than a new bike itself.

I wouldn't read too much into this QP and whether much has changed in the Ducati garage. It seems to me that Hayden put reason on standby and hammered out some magic laps. I pull my hat for his commitment, but will this work on a race distance? If it's really wet tomorrow, it might just really work out.
It could also be that Hayden realized that VR wont get Ducati out of the doll drums, so eventually he might have decided that it's now in his hands to get the team moving forward.

But lets wait until sunday, maybe some aging legend stumbles over his mojo again...

consistently failed including wsbk??????. Since when?

I hope the race is as close. How impressive were some of those rider saves ?
Very impressive. The usual suspects up front and it looks like Crutchlow is determined to become one of them. Good on him and the top ten. Nick ! Way to go. No more Mr.Nice Guy. Ducati need a hero again and he's certainly rising to the bait.
Back to CRT and my constant gripe. Can IODA/Aprilia not give Danilo a little better than 257km/hr? My 10 year old pipe frame Ducati L-twins do better than that resplendant in road legal appendages.

I am a motogp fan first and Rossi fan second. I fear we've / are seeing the end of an era.

It's clearly not all the bike.

As the announcer sometimes says; his bike is still not good as he was still over a second off the pace, it only proves he was a bit braver than 4th. However if it goes full wet it may all pay off or he'll be stuck with Bati and Bradl.

Time to stop calling the Ducati a piece of poo. It's NOT the bike and it's not the engineer, and that's more than evident.

Also time to quit calling for the engine to be changed to "fix" the "problem". Everything has been changed but the item on top of the seat. That is what needs to be changed for Ducati to be a player once more.

Marlboros has been had big time. Time to sell my Altria stk (MO).