MotoGP: Qualifying with a Message at the Malaysian GP

10/20/2012 @ 10:25 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off on MotoGP: Qualifying with a Message at the Malaysian GP

With the weather constantly the x-factor in the 2012 MotoGP Championship, the Malaysian GP unsurprisingly has seen Mother Nature play an integral part at Sepang. Limiting on-track practice time, things were surprisingly dry for MotoGP’s qualifying session, though riders came out of the pits immediately to bank some solid lap times. As the session wore on though, and the weather held, a display of talent proceeded, and another track record succumbed to the 1,000cc prototype machines.

The story from MotoGP’s qualifying session is not that Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest man on the track, though he was, but rather how the Spanish rider rode during the session is what should be talked about amongst GP fans. Trouncing the Best Lap Record at Sepang, and setting an outright circuit record in the process, Lorenzo had things buttoned up for a pole-position start in the Malaysian GP with extra time to spare — though, that wouldn’t be enough for the factory Yamaha rider.

Ahead in the championship, Lorenzo needs only to keep tabs on rival Dani Pedrosa over the next three races in order to be assured of another World Championship title. With Pedrosa showing a whole new racing persona, and his teammate Casey Stoner returning back to racing from his foot injury — and now showing again his racing pace — there remains a considerable amount of doubt to worry Lorenzo, and so an example had to be made.

Dropping the Best Lap Record by almost a tenth of a second, Lorenzo was not content to stop there, despite Dani Pedrosa accepting his second-place starting position. Dropping his time again by another tenth of a second, Lorenzo shattered the course record, and his fist-pumps afterwards showed something more than the time sheets let on. Lorenzo needed this shift in the momentum.

With Dani Pedrosa winning plenty of races that started with Lorenzo on pole, the Repsol Honda rider seemed able to hunt, stalk, and kill his prey at will on the Honda RC213V, now that the V4 machine has come to grips with its chattering issues. Holding the momentum in the series, question marks started to form as to whether Pedrosa could overcome Lorenzo’s seemingly insurmountable lead. “Pedrobot” even seemed to be winning over fans and critics alike with his new-found hunger on the race course, and the riding that came with it.

Using a soft front tire to make the difference, it remains to be seen how much of an actual advantage there is come race day, but on the psychological battlefield, Lorenzo has fired an impressive first volley. Sunday awaits Pedrosa’s response in kind.

Qualifying Results from the Malaysian GP at Sepang, Malaysia:

1Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha323.82’00.334
2Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda325.92’00.5280.194
3Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha324.62’00.5670.233
4Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda321.62’00.8110.477
5Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha320.02’01.1780.844
6Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha320.32’01.1850.851
7Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati316.42’01.2940.960
8Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda322.62’01.4911.157
9Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati323.32’01.5261.192
10Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda320.32’01.6401.306
11Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati322.82’01.7831.449
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART304.72’02.8422.508
13Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART306.22’03.3893.055
14Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati313.62’03.7743.440
15Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR300.52’04.1523.818
16James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART303.92’04.5154.181
17Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter300.82’04.7264.392
18Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter306.12’04.9414.607
19Roberto ROLFOITASpeed MasterART303.12’05.1004.766
20Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR299.12’05.9215.587

Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing

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