Dani Pedrosa survived multiple attacks from Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo to take his first pole of the season.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa came up with his first pole position of the season during qualifying at the Brno circuit. His best lap of 1’56.591 on Saturday was 0.113 seconds faster than Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, but it was still 0.268 seconds slower than the lightning-quick pace he set in Friday’s first practice.
“It’s my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I’m very happy for that,” said Pedrosa. “The weekend has been pretty good for us so far, the bike is working well and I’m feeling good physically as well.”
Pedrosa’s teammate, Casey Stoner, also earned a front row start in the Czech Republic by posting the third-fastest lap 0.269 seconds adrift of Pedrosa. Meanwhile, wild-card rider John Hopkins will have to miss Sunday’s race after crashing during the morning practice and sustaining injuries to his right hand.
“We seem to be getting more and more chatter as the weekend progresses and the more I push the more it increases and the slower I get, so it’s a little frustrating,” Stoner said. “I felt qualifying could have been better, we almost lapped with the same time on old and new tyres but in general we have a lot of work to do.”
Yamaha’s Ben Spies missed a front row start by 0.318 seconds. The American will be joined on the second row by San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli, the Italian finishing fifth in the charts with a time of 1’57.351. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi just made the second row 0.016 seconds behind, earning his best qualifying position of the season in sixth.
Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso recorded seventh in the order and will start from the third row ahead of American riders Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden. Meanwhile San Carlo Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama will start his first MotoGP race at the Brno circuit after missing last year’s contest due to injury. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was close to securing eighth on the grid before a crash with 12 minutes remaining pushed his back to 11th. Shortly afterward Cardio nab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham crashed out. As a result the Czech rider will have to start his home race from last on the grid.
Wild-card entry John Hopkins will have to miss the upcoming race after crashing and injuring his right hand in practice.
Brno MotoGP Qualifying Results 2011:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’56.591
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’56.704
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’56.860
4. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’57.178
5. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’57.351
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’57.367
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’57.442
8. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’57.676
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’57.721
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’57.784
11. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’57.797
12. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’58.245
13. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’58.273
14. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’58.274
15. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’58.889
In the Moto2 field Marc Marquez will start the race at Brno from pole position after setting a best lap of 2’02.493 on Saturday. In the final moments of the session championship leader Stefan Bradl had the lead in the timesheets, but Marquez swooped by the German rider to steal the lead.
“This weekend we followed an upward trend, which is the most important thing,” said Marquez. “We did not start very well but in the end we are where we wanted to be. It is crucial to be in pole position, but the most important thing is tomorrow’s race.”
Bradl claimed second in the order, with JiR Moto2’s Alex de Angelis taking the final spot on the front row 0.232 seconds behind Marquez. Interwetten Paddock Moto2’s Thomas Luthi made his first appearance in the top-10 this weekend with the fourth-best time ahead of Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone. The Italian earned his best qualifying spot of the season so far in fifth as Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro rounded out the second row with his lap of 2’03.461. Sunday’s race will feature an all-Italian third row consisting of riders Simone Corsi, Mattia Pasini and Caludio Corti. Meanwhile GP Team
Marc Marquez (#93) claimed another pole position in the Moto2 class with a late charge in qualifying.
Switzerland Kiefer Racing’s Randy Krummenacher claimed tenth more than 1.1 seconds off the pace of the leader, with NGM Forward Racing’s Jules Cluzel right behind.
Brno Moto2 Qualifying Results 2011:
1. Marc Marquez (Suter) 2’02.493
2. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 2’02.704
3. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 2’02.725
4. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 2’02.848
5. Andrea Iannone (Suter) 2’02.943
6. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 2’03.461
7. Simone Corsi (FTR) 2’03.497
8. Mattia Pasini (FTR) 2’03.523
9. Claudio Corti (Suter) 2’03.545
10. Randy Krummenacher (Kalex) 2’03.606