Casey Stoner once again topped the Le Mans timesheet, this time leading a Honda quartet in qualifying.
Marco Simoncelli once again nabs a front row start, but can the Italian finish the race on Sunday?
Cal Crutchlow did his homework on Saturday, the MotoGP rookie earning his best grid position of the year in sixth.
HRC flexed its Grand Prix muscle at Le Mans, as Honda riders swept the top four spots of MotoGP qualifying. Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner led the way, followed by Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli in second and the remaining Repsol riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa. The points-leading Jorge Lorenzo qualified fifth, with Valentino Rossi the highest placed Ducati in ninth.
Stoner continued his chart-topping form in qualifying, besting Simoncelli by 0.059 to snatch his 25th MotoGP pole position. For Super Sic it’s consecutive second-place grid positions, as the Italian looks to break his two-race streak of DNF crashes. The third-fastest result is Dovizioso’s best grid position of the season.
The points leaders, Lorenzo and Pedrosa, both find themselves off the front row for the first time in 2011. While the second row starts are the worst qualifying results of the season for the Spanish duo, the opposite is true for British rookie Cal Crutchlow. The Tech 3 Yamaha rider improves on his previous best qualifying results, a pair of eighth-place results, to round out Row 2.
Heading the third row will be Crutchlow teammate Colin Edwards. The Texas Tornado lines up next to former Tech 3 paddockmate and current factory Yamaha man, Ben Spies. The former AMA and World Superbike champ was more than a second off Stoner’s lead pace. Spies’ 1’34.206 best was identical to the ninth-place Rossi. The Doctor just nicked his teammate, American Nicky Hayden, by seven hundreths of a second for the final spot on Row 3.
2011 MotoGP Le Mans Qualifying Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’33.153
2. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’33.212
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’33.621
4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’33.683
5. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’33.706
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’33.804
7. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’34.063
8. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’34.206
9. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’34.206
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’34.277
11. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’34.351
12. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’34.513
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’34.612
14. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’34.650
15. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’34.866
16. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’35.010
17. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’35.433
Viessmann Kiefer Racing Stefan Bradl nabbed pole position four of the 2011 Moto2 season at Le Mans.
Repsol Marc Marquez (93) qualified sixth in the Moto2 class in a stacked grid of 40 riders.
Moto2 points leader Stefan Bradl extended his qualifying dominance, the German taking his fourth pole position of the season at Le Mans. The Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider edged out Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi for the top position, with Gresini’s Yuki Takahashit rounding out the front row.
Pons Kalex rider Aleix Espargaro leads Row 2, followed by Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding and Repsol rider Marc Marquez. Bradls’ closest competitors, Andrea Iannone (Speed Master), Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing) and Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar), will all look to close the gap starting from Row 3 of a 40-rider grid.
2011 Moto2 Le Mans Qualifying:
1. Stefan Bradl (Kalex)
2. Thomas Luthi (Suter)
3. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki)
4. Aleix Espargaro (Kalex)
5. Scott Redding (Suter)
6. Marc Marquez (Suter)
7. Simone Corsi (FTR)
8. Andrea Iannone (Suter)
9. Julian Simon (Suter)
10. Dominique Aegerter (Suter)
11. Jules Cluzel (Suter)
12. Alex de Angelis (Motobi)
13. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki)
14. Axel Pons (Kalex)
15. Mattia Pasini (FTR)