Casey Stoner was 1.014 seconds faster than the rest of the field on Saturday and earned his 12th pole of the season.
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner grabbed another pole position in preparation for the final MotoGP round at Valencia, bringing his pole victory tally to 12 this year. Stoner tied Mick Doohan for the record of most pole positions taken in a single season, and did so in stunning fashion after lapping more than a second faster than the entire field.
“I’m really happy with pole position today,” Stoner said. “I’m still hungry to win and get pole positions, after all this is why I line up to go racing. Winning the Championship is the bonus at the end of the season, but I still try my best in every session and every race.”
“Qualifying was really hectic today for all the riders,” said Spies. “There was a sprinkling of rain all the way through which makes you very nervous about how much to push. I have to say thank you Yamaha for a great bike. It’s working great here so we just need to pray for some dry time for the race.”
Frenchman Randy de Puniet concluded one of his strongest pole sessions of the season in fourth, putting his just shy of the front row by 0.061 seconds. Following the Pramac Ducati rider was Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, who was three-tenths off the pace of De Puniet. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi’s best lap of 1’33.478 was just good enough for the
Dani Pedrosa: “I’m happy with second position on the grid, it’s a good place to start, but I’m not totally satisfied with the setup of the bike yet.”
final spot on the second row, though the Italian remains more than a second and a half off the pace of Stoner.
“Today was decent,” said Rossi. “This afternoon’s session was complicated because the conditions were mixed, making grip tricky, but in the end, I was able to do some good laps and improve my time, which isn’t bad. I’m on the second row, and apart from Stoner, we’re not so far from the others.”
Rossi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, will have to begin Sunday’s contest from Row 3 after lapping 0.178 seconds behind his teammate. Meanwhile, Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso secured eighth in the charts after suffering an innocent crash at the very end of qualifying. Mapfre Aspar’s Hector Barbera will join Hayden and the Italian on the third row after encountering mechanical troubles with his Ducati during the start of the session. Barbera was forced to use his back-up bike near the end, but still managed to finish 0.079 seconds ahead of Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham in the timesheets.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Pramac Racing’s Loris Capirossi landed 11th and 12th respectively on the grid, followed by LCR Honda’s Toni Elias. AMA SuperBike champ Josh Hayes will have to start from the back of the field during his debut MotoGP race after finishing more than four seconds off the pace of Stoner.
Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’31.861
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’32.875
3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’33.057
4. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’33.118
5. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’33.443
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’33.478
7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’33.656
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’33.824
9. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’34.186
10. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’34.265
11. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’34.329
12. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’34.671
13. Toni Elias (Honda) 1’34.680
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’34.838
15. Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) 1’35.999
16. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1’36.042
The news of Marc Marquez’s withdraw from the final round has meant Stefan Bradl has been crowned the 2011 Moto2 champ. Marquez was the only contender remaining who was within striking distance of the German rider, but the Spaniard hasn’t fully recovered from sight problems due to his crash during practice at the Malaysian GP. Despite backing out, Marquez is guaranteed second in the series – but the battle rages on for the final podium position in the championship between Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone and JiR Moto2’s Alex de Angelis. During Saturday’s qualifying Gresini Racing Moto2’s Michele Pirro grabbed pole ahead of his Japanese teammate, Yuki Takahashi. Marc VDS Racing’s Mika Kallio and Bradl claimed third and fourth, respectively, with De Angelis rounding out the top-five in the timesheets.
Gresini Racing’s Michele Pirro snagged pole posiiton on Saturday just 0.009 seconds ahead of Yuki Takahashi.
Valencia Moto2 Qualifying Results:
1. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki) 1’37.067
2. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki) 1’37.076
3. Mika Kallio (Suter) 1’37.477
4. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 1’37.870
5. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 1’37.888
6. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 1’37.963
7. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1’38.095
8. Xavier Simeon (Tech 3) 1’38.182
9. Mike di Meglio (Tech 3) 1’38.496
10. Simone Corsi (FTR) 1’38.565
11. Aleix Espargaro (FTR) 1’38.633
12. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) 1’38.652
13. Pol Espargaro (FTR) 1’38.655
14. Scott Redding (Suter) 1’38.703
15. Jordi Torres (Suter) 1’38.924