Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner continues to demonstrate his dominance on the Losail International Circuit after topping tonight’s qualifying session with a blistering 1’55.007 lap.
The much-anticipated 2010 MotoGP season is officially underway after Saturday night’s exciting qualifying session under the lights of the Losail International Circuit. Just as he’s done in every practice and training round in Qatar, Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner once again topped the timesheets by shattering his own course record with a blistering 1’55.007 lap. The Australian rider was the first to dip below 1’56 and was only threatened once when Valentino Rossi ripped off a hot Lap 10 to temporarily take the top spot.
Defending MotoGP champion Rossi would later better his Lap 10 time in earning the second starting spot on tomorrow’s grid with a best effort of 1’55.362. He will be joined on the front row by his Fiat Yamaha teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, who bumped LCR Honda’s Randy De Puniet back to the fourth position on Lap 20 with a 1’55.612.
De Puniet backed up his impressive top three practice effort with the best time among the privateers and will head up the second row after qualifying fourth. He will be joined by Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi who snuck into the fifth position late in the session on Lap 23.
Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo showed no ill effects of his bum right hand after qualifying with the third-fastest time.
Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso battled with De Puniet and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards for the best mid-pack lap times for much of the session and finished with the sixth-fastest time of the day. His Repsol Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, will start from the seventh position. Pedrosa looked good early on, sitting in second half-way through the session, but the Spanish rider couldn’t improve on his early-going success and was bumped down the timesheet.
Edwards also was near the top of the timesheets early on, moving up to third on Lap 14, but by the time the session was over he got knocked back to the eighth position. The final spot on the third row belongs to Marlboro Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, who finished with the ninth-fastest time.
Interwetten Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama made a strong late run to grab the final top ten spot. The 2009 250cc champion squeezed in just ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Ben Spies.
Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio and San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Marco Simoncelli both crashed early in the session, while Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista took a spill on the last lap. Despite their mishaps, all three will be able to compete in tomorrow’s opening race of the 2010 MotoGP season.
2010 MotoGP Qatar Qualifying
1. Casey Stoner (Marlboro Ducati) 1’55.007
2. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) 1’55.362
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) 1’55.612
4. Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda) 1’55.831
5. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) 1’55.899
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) 1’55.963
7. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1’55.990
8. Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) 1’56.005
9. Nicky Hayden (Marlboro Ducati) 1’56.163
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda) 1’56.227
11. Ben Spies ( Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) 1’56.271
12. Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) 1’56.283
13. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) 1’56.450
14. Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing) 1’56.652
15. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda) 1’56.957
16. Hector Barbera (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) 1’57.130
17. Marco Melandri (San Carlo Gresini Honda) 1’57.325
2010 Qatar Moto2 Results
Gresini Racing’s Toni Elias backed up his timesheet-topping effort in the final Moto2 test at Jerez by scoring the first pole position in the new GP league today in Qatar.
Gresini Racing’s Toni Elías etched his name in the record books as the first pole winner in the new Moto2 class after lapping the fastest around the Losail International Circuit tonight. The former MotoGP racer Elias was the only rider to dip below 2’02 with a best lap of 2’01.904. The Spanish comptetitor will be one of the race favorites after posting the fastest time in the final test at Jerez as well.
Mapfre Aspar’s Julian Simon will join Elias on the front row after posting the second-fastest time, a scant 0.128-second off of Elias’ pace. In a very close-knit grid, Viessmann Keifer Racing’s Stefan Bradl, the fastest rider in the free practice session, posted the third-fastest time, only 0.006 second behind Simon.
Another ex-MotoGP rider, RSM Team Scot’s Alex de Angelis, captured the fourth starting position. Though Moto2 uses the same CBR600 engine and control tires for each racer, the top four spots were claimed by different chassis providers.
Tech 3 Racing’s Yuki Takahashi had the fifth-fastest results and will start from the second row of tomorrow’s Moto2 grid. Forward Racing’s Jules Cluzel finished just off Takahashi’s pace with the sixth-fastest time, while Taka’s Tech 3 teammate Raffaele De Rosa lapped seventh-best. The final spot on Row 2 was claimed by Aeroport de Castello-Ajo’s Alex Debón as the Spanish rider put in the eighth-fastest effort of the qualifying session.
It should be a real barn-burner tomorrow as the Moto2 grid is 41-riders strong.
2010 Moto2 Qualifying Results
1. Toni Elias (Gresini Racing) 2’01.904
2. Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar) 2’02.032
3. Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer) 2’02.038
4. Alex De Angelis (RSM Team) 2’02.101
5. Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing) 2’02.295
6. Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) 2’02.366
7. Raffaele De Rosa (Tech 3 Racing) 2’02.560
8. Alex Debon (Aeroport de Castello-Ajo) 2’02.759
9. Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP) 2’02.866
10. Alex Baldolini (Caretta Technology Race Dept.) 2’02.881
11. Sergio Gadea (Tenerife 40 Pons)
12. Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans S.T.R.)
13. Mike Di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar Team)
14. Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up)
15. Niccolo Canepa (RSM Team Scot)