Published on 17 Sep 2011 by Toni M.
The above photo is what the other MotoGP riders saw of Casey Stoner in today’s qualifying at the Motorland Aragon circuit. The Repsol Honda rider had an eventful session, but never relinquished the top spot on the charts which earned him his 9th pole position of the season.
Stoner set a blazing lap that broke his own pole postion record from last year (1′48.942) and then went even faster to set at an even more daunting 1.48.451 on his penultimate lap, and this not withstanding a trip to the gravel trap at turn 7, just 10 minutes earlier and setting the time using his spare bike.
Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa tried his best to stop Stoner, which included running wide at turn 14 on his last flying lap, but ultimately he ended up second and 0.296s off the pole.
Yamaha put Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo, who struggled for most of the hour into third and fourth respectively, but they were more than 7 and 8 tenths off pace.
Fifth went to Andrea Dovizioso, and where one Italian Honda rider is, another is close behind, with Marco Simoncelli qualifying 6th.
Seventh and eighth went to two Ducati riders, one factory and one satellite rider, Nicky Hayden and Karel Abraham and the Czech rider was just 0.025s from the American who is riding the GP11.1.
Closing out the top ten were Gresini’s Hiroshi Aoyama and Pramac’s Randy de Puniet, who was up to third halfway through the practice only to slip back to 10th. Alvaro Bautista also showed some qualifying promise, but he too went backwards to finish in 11th.
And Valentino Rossi with the aluminum chassis GP11.2 (we’re continuing to call it this way)? It was another disastrous session for the Italian. He binned his GP11.2 at turn 15, 15 minutes minutes into the session and his pit crew, instead of giving him the spare bike (because it is believed that switching to the spare bike would have meant exceeding the six engines per season limit and would have meant starting from the pit lane in tomorrow’s race), they cleaned up his main bike and sent him back on track, but it was pretty well useless, as he qualified a lowly 13th and the usual 1.5s adrift.
MotoGP Aragon Qualifying results:
01- Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – 1’48.451
02- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 0.296
03- Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.704
04- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing Team – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 0.819
05- Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC212V – + 0.921
06- Marco Simoncelli – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC212V – + 1.077
07- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11.1 – + 1.301
08- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.326
09- Hiroshi Aoyama – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC212V – + 1.362
10- Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.375
11- Alvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – Suzuki GSV-R – + 1.432
12- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.442
13- Valentino Rossi – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11.1 – + 1.509
14- Hector Barbera – Mapfre Aspar Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 1.525
15- Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.654
16- Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP11 – + 2.301
17- Toni Elias – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC212V – + 2.622