MotoGP: Qualifying Heats Up Under the Catalan Sun

06/14/2009 @ 2:41 am, by Jensen Beeler1 COMMENT


It was a close qualify session in the outskirts of Barcelona today, but at the end of the day Jorge Lorenzo pulled a squeaker of a session on Valentino Rossi to take the pole in front of his home crowd.

Wearing special livery for the day, which paid homage to Barcelona FC (the local soccer team), Lorenzo lapped a 1’41.974 on the Catalan track, just .013 seconds quicker than Rossi’s best effort. This news surely pleased Team Fiat-Yamaha, as once again they’ll have a 1-2 start on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Lorenzo can expect a strong fight from Rossi who has never been off the podium at the Circuit de Catalunya (of course, he’d never lost at Mugello in the last 7 years either). Lorenzo can also expect Casey Stoner, who qualified third, to be a factor on Sunday as well. Stoner was only half a second behind Lorenzo in the qualifying session.

Randy de Puniet must have found the extra motivation he needs from the Playboy bunnies. Ever since the start of the season, where Playboy made their sponsorhip with LCR Honda, the French rider has looked very strong on the track, and has been the fastest Honda more than once. De Puniet will start just ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who crashed midway through the MotoGP qualifying session.

Pedrosa has been recovering from a hip injury, and will require pain-killer injections before the race in order to ride. We wouldn’t count Dani out. With his rabbit starts, the Repsol Honda rider could easily overcome his third row start, and we all know the Spaniard will feel the extra energy to perform well in front of his countrymen. If Pedrosa finds his way to the front of the pack in the first lap, he could very well give the other riders a run for their money, and take the day.

PosNo.RiderBikeTimeDiffDiff. Prev.
199Jorge LORENZOYAMAHA1’41.974
246Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA1’41.9870.0130.013
327Casey STONERDUCATI1’42.4260.4520.439
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOHONDA1’42.5940.6200.168
524Toni ELIASHONDA1’43.1391.1650.545
65Colin EDWARDSYAMAHA1’43.1681.1940.029
714Randy DE PUNIETHONDA1’43.1751.2010.007
83Dani PEDROSAHONDA1’43.2071.2330.032
952James TOSELANDYAMAHA1’43.2331.2590.026
1036Mika KALLIODUCATI1’43.3361.3620.103
1165Loris CAPIROSSISUZUKI1’43.3651.3910.029
127Chris VERMEULENSUZUKI1’43.4111.4370.046
1369Nicky HAYDENDUCATI1’43.4141.4400.003
1415Alex DE ANGELISHONDA1’43.4221.4480.008
1559Sete GIBERNAUDUCATI1’43.7141.7400.292
1672Yuki TAKAHASHIHONDA1’43.7771.8030.063
1733Marco MELANDRIKAWASAKI1’43.7921.8180.015
1888Niccolo CANEPADUCATI1’43.9912.0170.199
1941Gabor TALMACSIHONDA1’45.8333.8591.842