MotoGP: One Last Qualifying for the King of Phillip Island

10/26/2012 @ 10:25 pm, by Jensen Beeler2 COMMENTS

In typical Phillip Island fashion, a range of weather was featured during qualifying for the Australian GP — though, it was mostly cold, cloudy, and windy. With spots of rain throughout the day, it was anyone’s guess when the weather would, could, or should arrive on the coastal track, which meant every minute of qualifying counted.

Unsurprisingly, Casey Stoner dominated the time sheets throughout Free Practice, and was heavily favorited for the pole-position for Sunday’s race. With the MotoGP Championship going down to the wire for Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, MotoGP fans were perhaps more concerned what was happening behind Stoner, despite this being his last home grand prix.

This doesn’t mean the session was business as usual for Stoner though, as the Repsol Honda rider found the gravel, after high-siding in Turn 4 of the Phillip Island Circuit. Limping away, Stoner was able to immediately rejoin the session, putting his best laps of the day in after the crash. The only man able to get into the 1’29 on his lap times, Stoner is still heavily favorited to win tomorrow’s Australian GP.

Coming into the pits to a series of high-fives, Jorge Lorenzo is taking his half a second behind Stoner as a win, especially since Championship rival Dani Pedrosa, in turn, is almost half a second behind him. If Lorenzo finishes ahead of Pedrosa tomorrow, he would clinch the 2012 MotoGP Championship. Conversely, if he makes a mistake, and ends up in the gravel though, he could hand Dani Pedrosa the opportunity for a title shootout in Valencia.

Notably off the pace were the Ducatis of Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Hector Barbera, and Karel Abraham, who found the CRT bikes of Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro mixing it up with them on the time sheets.

Only Rossi was able to get clear of RdP, while Barbera found himself the only prototype rider to be behind Espargaro’s Aspar Aprilia ART machine. A fast track, but not necessarily a horsepower track, we could see some prototype scalps hanging from the belts of the Aspar riders tomorrow.

Qualifying Results from the Australian GP at Phillip Island, Australia:

1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda335.61’29.623
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha330.61’30.1400.517
3Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda335.71’30.5750.952
4Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha332.71’30.7631.140
5Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda337.11’30.7981.175
6Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha334.71’31.2001.577
7Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda334.91’31.4901.867
8Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati337.41’31.6612.038
9Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART323.61’31.6672.044
10Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati334.41’31.6812.058
11Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati339.61’31.9102.287
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART319.81’31.9902.367
13Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati334.11’32.2312.608
14Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR316.81’33.0503.427
15Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter315.41’33.0693.446
16Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter321.71’33.4503.827
17James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART317.41’33.4893.866
18Roberto ROLFOITASpeed MasterART314.01’33.5773.954
19Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR313.51’34.1564.533
DNQKris McLARENAUSAvintia BlusensBQR311.61’36.3246.701

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Cpt.Slow

    Look at Randy in 9th!

  • Yes, indeed. Randy was QUICK!