Published on 16 Jun 2012 by Toni M.
The rain that came before the end of MotoGPs qualifying session at Silverstone surprised several top riders before they could put actually do a real time attack so the pole went to a not-so-surprising Alvaro Bautista (he was 3rd and 5th in the two dry practice sessions), who gave Gresini Racing their first pole position of the season and team owner Fausto Gresini dedicated it to his late and much missed rider Marco Simoncelli.
Dani Pedrosa who qualified 5th today once again questioned the new front tire that has become standard issue starting at Silverstone which he believes that it is the cause for the rash of front end crashes, as the tire needs more air pressure causing the bike to jump during braking. However, Valentino Rossi who suffered one of these crashes as did team mate Nicky Hayden - in the identical manner and in the same turn - rejected the idea that it was the new spec tire, instead he blamed the lack of front grip and the fact that there is a bump and crest on the asphalt.
Tomorrow’s weather will no doubt play the lion’s part; if it stays dry then it could be a toss up between Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo who have an almost identical race pace in the low 2.04s, but if it’s wet then it could
be anyone, including a Ducati rider.
Alvaro Bautista - 1st
“I’m really happy for myself and also pleased for the team. This pole position hasn’t happened by coincidence – it is the fruit of a lot of hard work from all the guys who have all been giving 100% and sometimes a little more. The conditions today were strange and difficult but we managed to find a good setting, I was up front for the whole session and set my fastest lap on my own. It started to rain for the last few minutes and nobody was able to improve their time but I still had a fresh tyre to use and made a couple of mistakes on my best lap so could have gone faster too. Tomorrow I start on pole and have a good race pace so hopefully we can convert it into a good result.”
Ben Spies - 2nd
“It was difficult conditions today again, like yesterday but it was the same for everybody. We tried our hardest, I’m happy for the team as they gave me a great bike and we set our best time with the hard rear tyre. When I put the soft one on we were a couple of tenths up then I made a mistake and hit the curb, I had a good lap going but messed it up. I’m just happy to be on the front row and working well with the team, let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Casey Stoner - 3rd
“This afternoon was a little disappointing to be honest. We began the session and struggled with the bike, we couldn’t really get any edge grip and seemed to make the chatter worse. We were trying to fix some problems we had in the morning but ended up making them worse so we tried various things to improve them. Finally we found something that was working so we decided to scrap the lap and come in and put a new soft rear tyre on but it didn’t work for us as we got out there and the rain started to come, just enough to upset the bike a little. I was waiting for the rain to disappear so I could put a lap in, but unfortunately we didn’t get an opportunity and missed our chance at pole. For tomorrow I hope the race is one way or another, not a 50/50 race, but we’ll deal with whatever we have and I feel confident with both situations.”
Jorge Lorenzo - 4th
“That was a so-so session. I had hoped to be on the front row but it wasn’t possible because it started raining so I didn’t have a good fast lap to get up there. I stayed on the track for a while in case it stopped raining but it didn’t happen. Fourth position is not so bad and we have some options to try for tomorrow. It’s going to be a complicated race because it could rain and there will be a lot of wind. Let’s stay calm and see what happens.”
Dani Pedrosa - 5th
“We’ve managed to improve our lap times quite a lot and our position on the grid a little, although by the end of the practice some drops of rain prevented us to make any time attack with the last set of tyres he had ready. I’m satisfied because we’ve improved the setup of the bike this afternoon and I think we can still do another step forward in the warm-up tomorrow.”
Héctor Barberá - 6th
“I am so happy about this best qualifying result of the season, but I’m even happier about the fact that I felt so good on my Ducati Desmosedici this afternoon. It is really important to be on the second row for tomorrow because this gives us the best chance for a brilliant race. I feel comfortable and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, although I hope it isn’t going to rain. I’m just 0.5 seconds away from today’s quickest rider, Álvaro Bautista, and this gives me a lot of confidence for the race. Once again, I have to say thanks to my entire team for doing a great job today.”
Nicky Hayden - 7th
“Qualifying was going pretty well for a while, as I was closer to the front and the bike felt good. I put in a new soft tyre and went out for my first real qualifying run, and most of the lap felt really good. Then coming over that crest in the last section, I lost the front without much warning. I don’t really have an excuse. I was in there hot, but it felt good when I first got on the brakes. Crashing is part of motorcycle racing, but I just wish I could have finished that lap. It’s a bit strange that Valentino and I did the exact same crash, but maybe we can understand something from the data. Considering that I crashed out so early, seventh on the grid isn’t too bad, but I definitely feel we were capable of more today.”
Andrea Dovizioso - 8th
“It is a big pity that the rain came at the end of the session because I am confident I could have been much higher up the grid. It will not be easy starting from eighth position because it is a very short run to the first corner and you need to be close to the front to avoid any trouble and be in contention right from the start. It wasn’t a very good session and I think some of that is down to me. Like yesterday the wind was really strong and it is difficult to ride close to the limit in those conditions. I just didn’t feel comfortable and because of that I wasn’t relaxed like normal on the bike and I felt rigid. The wind was so strong in places that keeping control of the bike was very difficult. I am still confident that the times I was doing before the rain came will be competitive in the race. We need to wait and see what the weather will do but I have a good record in the British Grand Prix and hope it continues tomorrow. I also hope Cal will be able to start the race. I know his home race is very important to him and all of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team hope his injuries won’t stop him from riding.”
Stefan Bradl - 9th
“Honestly I am not thrilled about this second day. The weather was incomprehensible and the crash this morning was quite hard. I was not at 100% for the qualifying because of the injury of my finger and also in the afternoon the weather was very strange. We could not make a proper run on soft tyres because some [rain] dropped down there and some dropped down here… At the end I was not able to get a good confidence with the bike and we were also struggling with the strong wind. So it’s not the perfect day for us but I am still confident for tomorrow: we are not that far from the front group and I hope the weather can be less unsettled.”
Valentino Rossi - 10th
“Today was pretty difficult. Shortly after qualifying started, I crashed when approaching the last chicane, a tricky part of the track where you brake hard and where there’s a small crest and a depression. The bike unweights there and you can lose the front. We struggle there because we don’t have much grip on the front, so tomorrow we’ll have to be particularly careful. Also, although I rode better today, I still don’t understand this track as I should, and in some parts I’m not as effective as I would like to be. Anyway, I did my best time with the hard tyre. I had two softs to use at the end, but of course it started raining right when it was time to put them on. We’ll see what conditions we’ll have tomorrow, and if it’s dry for the warm-up, we’ll try something to help us go a bit better.”
Aleix Espargaró - 11th
“I am very happy with my great time today. Thanks to the team, we got the best CRT time. I am being consistent in the races, but it is tough to beat my teammate in qualifying and this is only the second time that I have managed to do so this season. I am happy about that. The cold, the wind and the intermittent rain aren’t the best conditions, but this track is fast and fun. We are losing a little on the straight because of our lower top speed, but I am satisfied with how the weekend is developing. I hope that tomorrow we can round things off with a good result and keep hitting our targets.”
Randy De Puniet - 12th
“Once again we faced difficult weather conditions today. In the qualifying session the rain came back and made our work difficult. The stops and the waiting make it hard to work, above all today when we had problems with lack of front-end grip. Despite this and the lack of time, we tried out various things. However, we still haven’t found a definitive solution to the issue. I think that if we had managed to, then we could have shaved time off our laps in the second and fourth sectors. I hope that in warm-up tomorrow we have dry conditions and can try out some other ideas that we didn’t manage to today. In any case, I am happy with our work today and am prepared for the race.”
Michele Pirro - 14th
“It could have been better but it started to rain in the last few minutes and it would have been too risky to try and improve the lap time so we decided to back off. Anyway I am happy because our race pace is good and I think I can fight with the best CRT guyes out there. We have taken another step forward here and I think we can make another improvement for tomorrow.”
Colin Edwards – 15th
“I am not overjoyed by the qualifying position but considering how few laps I got in this weekend I feel we did the best we could. As windy as it was and the rain, I felt we could go faster. Trying to get the whole bike setting done in a matter of a handful of laps, doing a couple of laps here and stopping to adjust the bike, do a couple of laps and come in again, typically it’s not the best way to setup a bike but we had to try to do what we could, as fast as we could. Thanks to my guys because they figured out the problems we were having yesterday and at least we have a bike that’s running! I think tomorrow we will have a good race.”
Mattia Pasini - 16th
“We weren’t particularly fast, when working on our fast lap: in this qualifying session we preferred to try to focus on consistency and the rhythm for the race. When we decided to use the soft tyre, the wind was pretty strong and that didn’t help us. When we were using hard tyres, in any case, we did quite well and I can say that I’m satisfied. Now we’ll have a look at some final improvements for the chassis and electronics, and then we’ll put everything together for tomorrow. It’ll be a long race, but I think we can be quite competitive.”
Danilo Petrucci - 18th
We improved a lot compared to yesterday, but we haven’t completely solved the front end problems. We’ve gotten closer to our rivals but the gap from Espargaro is still too big. Tomorrow the big problem will be the weather conditions that at Silverstone is always changeable, but during the race I’ll give it my best to get the best result possible.