For those that are not familiar with the weather patterns of Northern California’s coastal areas, Saturday at Laguna Seca was a good example of the foggy morning gloom we natives must endure in order to be showered with the Golden State’s eternal afternoon sunshine. With FP3 nearly delayed because of low cloud cover, qualifying for the US GP at Laguna Seca couldn’t have conditions more opposite than this morning. Click past the jump for full-of-sunshine qualifying results.
Sunny and warm, Casey Stoner’s best lap record was certainly in danger this weekend, and it didn’t take long into the session for the time to be cracked. With Lorenzo taking over early in qualifying, the current-Championship leader is on his form this weekend in California. And while for a moment, it looked like Stoner would catapult the Spaniard from his top spot, but Lorenzo answered back on the final lap, setting a record “Best Lap” of 1’20.554 on his Yamaha YZR-M1.
Rounding out the front row is Dani Pedrosa, who held the second spot on the time sheet for much of the session. Unable to get the same progress as Stoner and Lorenzo did in the closing minutes, Pedrosa is sure to still be a contender for Sunday’s race. Also not out of the fight is Ben Spies, who despite a tough tumble with 10 minutes remaining, was able to get back on the track in the closing minutes to keep a respectable fourth place at his home race. He will be joined on the second row by fellow Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, respectively.
The big disappointment of the session was Steve Rapp on the Attack Performance CRT entry. Getting virtually no on-track development, the team made great strides to bring the Kawasaki-powered CRT bike up to speed, but missed the 107% cutoff time by 0.694 seconds. It remains to be seen if Race Direction will let Rapp grid-up for Sunday’s race, though either way the team should have some good data to mull over before it races again at the Indianapolis GP.
Qualifying Results from the US GP at Laguna Seca, USA:
|1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||267.7||1’20.554||–|
|2||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||267.1||1’20.628||0.074|
|3||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||267.4||1’20.906||0.352|
|4||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||263.7||1’21.094||0.540|
|5||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||265.1||1’21.268||0.714|
|6||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||263.4||1’21.539||0.985|
|7||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||265.8||1’21.732||1.178|
|8||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||266.1||1’21.734||1.180|
|9||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||260.6||1’21.753||1.199|
|10||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||268.1||1’22.544||1.990|
|11||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||253.9||1’22.886||2.332|
|12||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||252.9||1’23.075||2.521|
|13||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||255.4||1’23.699||3.145|
|14||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||260.1||1’23.704||3.150|
|15||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||253.6||1’23.769||3.215|
|16||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||255.9||1’23.877||3.323|
|17||Toni ELIAS||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||258.3||1’23.898||3.344|
|18||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||246.5||1’24.017||3.463|
|19||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||245.7||1’24.227||3.673|
|20||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||246.8||1’24.560||4.006|
|21||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||251.2||1’24.715||4.161|
|Steve RAPP||USA||Attack Performance||APR||245.2||1’26.887||6.333|
Source: MotoGP: Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved