Today’s MotoGP qualifying session at Jerez went down to fierce battle for the pole position between two rival Spaniards, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who were completely above the rest of the field for the entire session.
Despite the difficult conditions, with scattered wet patches along the circuit, Lorenzo was able to take his first pole position of the season (his 20th in MotoGP) on his last flying lap with a best time of 1′39.532 and 0.2sec under the race lap record that left Pedrosa in second and 0.135s adrift.
When we say that the two Spaniards were a cut above the rest of the field, you just have to look at an excellent Nicky Hayden, took third place on the grid, but he was a little more than one second adrift. If Hayden was the best Ducati rider. the worst was Valentino Rossi who qualified in a lowly 13th. It was a disastrous session for the Italian, who was a massive 3.4 seconds from the top of the timesheets, but even worse, he was 2.4 seconds from his team mate and was behind Ducati satellite riders Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera, but CRT also rider Randy de Puniet finished ahead of all three Ducati’s in 10th.
Opening the second row will be Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow. The Briton the fastest rider until the halfway mark, but a crash at the Expo 92 turn (that also caught out Colin Edwards and Michele Pirro) forced him out on second bike, but his lap time was good enough for a fourth spot. Reigning Champion Casey Stoner could only manage a fifth position on what he considers his bogey track. Ben Spies came out of his free practice slump with his 6th position, but he was more than 1.5 seconds from his team mate.
Andrea Dovizioso was 7th followed by Alvaro Bautista and a very aggressive Stefan Bradl who was ninth.
MotoGP Jerez Qualifying results:
01- Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – 1’39.532
02- Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 0.135
03- Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP12 – + 1.031
04- Cal Crutchlow – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.038
05- Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – Honda RC213V – + 1.045
06- Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.558
07- Andrea Dovizioso – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha YZR M1 – + 1.648
08- Alvaro Bautista – San Carlo Honda Gresini – Honda RC213V – + 1.915
09- Stefan Bradl – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda RC213V – + 2.018
10- Randy De Puniet – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP12 – + 2.168
11- Karel Abraham – Cardion AB Motoracing – Ducati Desmosedici GP12 – + 2.192
12- Hector Barbera – Pramac Racing Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP12 – + 2.339
13- Valentino Rossi – Ducati Team – Ducati Desmosedici GP12 – + 3.429
14- Aleix Espargaro – Power Electronics Aspar – ART GP12 – + 3.603
15- Michele Pirro – San Carlo Honda Gresini – FTR Honda – + 3.831
16- Mattia Pasini – Speed Master Team – ART GP12 – + 4.776
17- Yonny Hernandez – Avintia Blusens – FTR Kawasaki – + 4.935
18- Danilo Petrucci – CAME Iodaracing Project – Ioda TR003 – + 5.113
19- Ivan Silva – Avintia Blusens – FTR Kawasaki – + 5.185
20- James Ellison – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART GP12 – + 6.192
21- Colin Edwards – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – Suter BMW – + 6.668