Ducati’s Casey Stoner will begin the final race of the season from the front row after posting the fastest time in qualifying.
In the final MotoGP qualifying session of the year Ducati’s Casey Stoner had a brilliant performance to take pole position at Valencia. The Aussie was the only rider capable of lapping under the 1’32” mark, and posted a time that was 0.331 seconds faster than Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. Making Stoner’s fourth pole of the 2010 campaign all the more amazing is that he managed it after suffering an early run-off.
“The whole season we were struggling to get seconds and thirds while on the limit, but now we’re able to win races with a lot more confidence,” said Stoner. “So we’re in a pretty good position at the moment and for this race tomorrow we’ll just have to hold out and see if we can win one more.”
Although Lorenzo spent a good deal of the session in the lead, the 2010 World Champion could not hold on in the final minutes as Stoner put it all on the line. Regardless of his last performance, Lorenzo has proved the best qualifier this season hands down, and will receive a new car for his accomplishments this year.
“I’m really excited and proud to be on the front row in front of the Spanish crowd, at this home race,” Lorenzo said. “Especially racing here; the last race is always special and everyone wants to do well. I tried my best to make the pole position today but Casey was really very quick today, I couldn’t beat him. Let’s see if we can keep in contact with him tomorrow in the race, if we can stay with him we can challenge. We will try the maximum as always. X-Lite has honored me with this special helmet and I am so proud of it, it looks like diamonds in the sunshine! Thanks to everyone and I hope to make a good race in it tomorrow.”
Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took second in qualifying and is sporting a new, special edition helmet design at Valencia.
Also having tremendous success in the final qualifying session of the season was San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli. The Italian clenched his first premier front row start by claiming the third-fastest time on Saturday, running a lap just 0.114 seconds off the pace of Lorenzo.
After struggling in practice on Friday, Valentino Rossi made a late charge in qualifying to take fourth on the grid. The Doctor was 0.531 seconds adrift of Stoner, and will begin Sunday’s race from the second row as the 2010 MotoGP season comes to an end.
“It was a difficult day but luckily we were able to improve the setting right at the end of the session, giving me a bit more grip and allowing me to push for a fast time at the end,” said Rossi. “We’re fourth and, considering how the practices have been, this really isn’t too bad. We will have to see tomorrow, it’s going to be very hard and we’re still in a bit of trouble, while the others are very fast, but if we can improve a bit more then we can try to challenge.”
Americans Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies will also join Rossi on the second row after taking the fifth- and sixth-quickest laps at Valencia.
After earning the third-best lap during practice on Friday, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colid Edwards came in seventh on the timesheets during qualifying. The Texan will be joined on the third row by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who saw significant improvement in him lap times from earlier sessions. Meanwhile Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, took ninth in Saturday’s 45-minute qualifying run. Marco Melandri of the San Carlo Honda squad rounded out the top-10 times with a lap that was more than a second off the leader’s pace. He will start from the fourth row, along with Frenchman Randy de Puniet.
2010 MotoGP Valencia Qualifying Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’31.799
Rookie Marco Simoncelli earned his first premier front row start at Valencia by taking third on the timesheets.
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’32.130
3. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’32.244
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’32.330
5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’32.422
6. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’32.566
7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’32.579
8. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’32.603
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’32.886
10. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1’32.917
11. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1’32.925
12. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1’33.085
13. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’33.170
14. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1’33.339
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’33.343
16. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’33.499
17. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’33.515
2010 Championship winner Toni Elias secured the final pole of the first ever Moto 2 season at the Valencia circuit. The Spaniard put in the fastest lap of 1’36.141 to take his third pole of the season ahead of Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Stefan Bradl and Fimmco Speed Up’s Andrea Iannone. Occupuing the final spot on the front row will be British rider, Scott Redding, who was 0.202 seconds behind Elias and just 0.088 seconds adrift of Iannone.
JiR Moto2’s Alex de Angelis, Technomag-CIP’s Kenan Sofuoglu and Mapfre Aspar’s Julian Simon will all begin from Row 2 as Iannone and Simon prepare for one last battle to determine the runner-up in the championship. Taking eighth in the final qualifying session was Racing Team Germany’s Carmelo Morales, who posted a lap of 1’36.572 to come within half a second of the quickest lap. Rounding out the top-10 times were Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham and Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2’s Thomas Luthi, with Luthi finishing the session just 0.680 seconds off the pace of the leader.
2010 Moto 2 Valencia Qualifying Results:
1. Toni Elias (Moriwaki) 1’36.141
2. Stefan Bradl (Suter) 1’36.247
3. Andrea Iannone (Speed Up) 1’36.255
4. Scott Redding (Suter) 1’36.343
5. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 1’36.413
6. Kenan Sofuoglu (Suter) 1’36.443
7. Julian Simon (Suter) 1’36.515
8. Carmelo Morales (Suter) 1’36.572
9. Karel Abraham (FTR) 1’36.624
10. Thomas Luthi (Moriwaki) 1’36.821
11. Jules Cluzel (Suter) 1’36.875
12. Gabor Talmacsi (Speed Up) 1’36.885
13. Kenny Noyes (Promoharris) 1’36.905
14. Roman Ramos (MIR Racing) 1’36.956
15. Javier Fores (AJR) 1’36.993