Published on 14 May 2011 by Toni M.
After a Honda whitewash in three practice sessions at Le Mans, it was more than natural that we’d see a Honda rider in pole position in today’s qualifying session and it had to be Casey Stoner who took his third pole of the season and has been devasting all weekend, especially on hard tires.
The Repsol Honda rider set a blistering lap of 1.33.153 in the last minute of the session, with Marco ‘Super Sic’ Simoncelli blazing through the circuit on his last lap grabbing second, just 0.059s from Stoner. Andrea Dovizioso thanking two tows from Simoncelli took the third spot on the front row grid but was a little more than four tenths off pace.
Fourth went to Dani Pedrosa who was a little more than half a second adrift from his team mate. Jorge Lorenzo was fifth, probably his worst starting position ever but he was mere 0.017s from his Spanish compatriot, but the real surprise was an amazing Cal Crutchlow debuting on this track who took the sixth spot with the satellite M1 and he was just 0.098s from the factory Yamaha.
Seventh went to Colin Edwards who was the last rider to be within a second from Stoner. Ben Spies qualified eighth behind the two satellite Yamaha’s, which isn’t the spot he should be, but it made it four Honda’s and four Yamaha’s in the first eight spots.
The Ducati’s are continuing their disastrous performance especially compared to the Honda’s, Valentino Rossi was only ninth but with the same lap time as Spies and he followed by his team mate Nicky Hayden in 10th. Randy de Puniet was 11th after a crash due to a cold tire at the beginning of the session. Other crashers were Karel Abraham who finished in 16th and Toni Elias who has subscription with the 17th spot on the grid.
MotoGP Le Mans Qualifying results:
01- Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – 1’33.153
02- Marco Simoncelli – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC212V – + 0.059
03- Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 0.468
04- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 0.530
05- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.553
06- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.651
07- Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.910
08- Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.053
09- Valentino Rossi – Ducati Marlboro Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.053
10- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.124
11- Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.198
12- Alvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – Suzuki GSV-R – + 1.360
13- Hiroshi Aoyama – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC212V – + 1.459
14- Hector Barbera – Mapfre Aspar Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.497
15- Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.713
16- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.857
17- Toni Elias – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC212V – + 2.280