MotoGP Info 2012: Lorenzo storms to pole position in Spanish one-two2012-04-28 08:49
What had been anticipated as a wet qualifying session after the rainy conditions so far, turned out to be a psychological battle with the elements, as a drying track and hovering dark clouds made conditions far from easy in MotoGP™ qualifying at the Gran Premio bwin de España. It was an absolutely thrilling affair as the Jerez track dried out in the nick of time, resulting in a frantic battle to the end as Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo took pole position in front of his home crowd ahead of compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
After a spate of wet practice sessions, Yamaha Factory Racing´s Lorenzo took full advantage of the dry track, as he left it until the final lap to post a time of 1.39´532. Repsol Honda´s Pedrosa could not quite match the pace of his rival, yet starts tomorrow´s race from second on the grid, making it a Spanish one-two.
Completing the front row is surprise inclusion Nicky Hayden, who wrung the neck of his Ducati to place it third, just over a second behind Lorenzo. Fourth place went to Monster Yamaha Tech3´s Cal Crutchlow despite a crash towards the end. A rain scare half way through the session did however almost see him steal his first ever pole.
Stoner, who almost came off his bike at turn one, could not match the pace of his team mate, and had to settle for fifth on the grid. The second row is rounded out by Lorenzo´s team mate Spies, who was back on form after some subdued practice sessions in the wet, though a full 1.5s off the front.
Row three is headed up by Crutchlow´s team mate Andrea Dovizioso in seventh, while San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP´s Stefan Bradl and Power Electronics Aspar´s Randy de Puniet complete the top ten.
Valentino Rossi endured another disappointing qualifying session, finishing as last non-CRT bike again in 13th, after having shown promise in the earlier wet practice.
With a few damp patches still out on track, numerous riders were caught out including Avintia Blusens´ Yonny Hernandez, San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Michele Pirro, NGM Mobile Forward Racing´s Colin Edwards and Pramac Racing Team´s Hector Barberá, all suffering crashes throughout the session.
This is the first time since the 2010 Valencia MotoGP round that three separate manufacturers make up the front row.
With conditions vastly improved in the afternoon, the Moto2™ class had its first outing in the dry since the official test back in March, and it was championship leader Marquez aboard his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol bike, who put on a show for his home crowd putting his bike on pole with a 1.43´005.
In a field where the top ten were separated by less than a second, it was Italtrans Racing Team rider Nakagami, who was just eight hundredths behind the Spaniard, with Pons 40 HP Tuenti rider Pol Espargaro rounding out the front row.
Last race´s pole sitter, Interwetten-Paddock´s Thom Lüthi, ended up fourth on the grid, yet crashed in the final minutes trying to improve his time. Behind him is Marc VDS´ Mika Kallio, who had been fastest in FP2. Finishing off the second row is Nakagami´s team mate Claudio Corti, who is just under four tenths off the front.
Pons rider Esteve Rabat, S/Master Speed Up´s Mike Di Meglio, GP Team Switzerland´s Randy Krummenacher and JiR Moto2´s Johann Zarco complete the top ten. Zarco, who had been the fastest rider in the wet, was unable to replicate that form in the dry.
It was a session to forget for Blusens Avintia´s Julián Simón, Came IodaRacing Project´s Simone Corsi, Tech3 Racing´s Bradley Smith, Pons 40 HP Tuenti´s Axel Pons and Kallio´s team mate Scott Redding, as they all crashed throughout the session.
Last year´s race winner, Speed Master´s Andrea Iannone did not have a good qualifying session for his standards, and ended the day in 13th.
In an incredibly exciting Moto3™ qualifying session, which went down to the final minute, it was current Spanish 125cc Champion Alex Rins who took his maiden pole position in just his second ever world championship start.
The session had started in sunny conditions, yet a wet track meant that most of the practice was spent on wet tyres. However with only five minutes to go a mostly dry line had appeared, after which it was a battle of the tyres as the leaderboard changed almost every few seconds until the end.
In the end it was Estrella Galicia 0,0´s Rins who snatched pole position with a time of 1.57´507, ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo´s Sandro Cortese under two tenths behind.
Third spot on the grid went to Rins´ team mate Miguel Oliveira a further four tenths off, who leads Caretta Technology´s Alexis Masbou.
Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta´s Jakub Kornfeil consolidated his form so far with fifth after yet another solid session, starting ahead of Masbou´s Australian team mate Jack Miller, who had held top stop briefly in the closing stages.
In seventh place, Kornfeil´s team mate Isaac Viñales beat Red Bull KTM´s Arthur Sissis, who displaced championship leader Maverick Viñales into ninth. Viñales was one of the few riders that did not head out on slicks at the end.
Rounding out the top ten was yesterday´s pace-setter Romano Fenati, who could not quite get to grips with his slick tyre at the end.
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