With tough conditions being the week-long tradition at the British GP, MotoGP qualifying at Silverstone began with dry, but very windy, conditions. Friday’s rain saw the Ducatis of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden on the top of the time sheets, though the day proved to be the tale of two Ducatis, as once the British track dried, the Desmosedici GP12 once again showed its other personaly, and proved to be a handful in the dry.
Unsurprisingly, Casey Stoner was the fastest once the water cleared, with Yamaha-man Ben Spies showing some renewed confidence as well. Noticeably quick was satellite Honda rider Alvaro Bautista, who posted a third and fifth in FP2 & FP3 for the San Carlo Gresini Honda team, respectively. With the weather supposedly set to improve tomorrow, though the chance of rain still seems to be a coin toss of probabilities, the certainty for a wet race seems to have been reduced in the paddock, though the tough windy conditions can still be expected.
That point was proven with the qualifying session itself, which saw the last seven minutes or so lost because of a drizzle that lasted about as long as it took for the track to clear of riders. That drizzle would prove to be fatal for the Ducati Corse squad, as both Rossi and Hayden hit the tarmac after encountering a wet spot — in the same corner no less. While Rossi would rejoin the qualifying session, Hayden’s crash happened right before the rain, which was a shame as the American was putting down a flier of a lap, and would have likely improved his grid position tomorrow onto the front row if he had stayed upright.
The rain also meant less time for Stoner and Lorenzo to move up in the order, leaving Alvaro Bautista to take the pole position for tomorrow’s race. He will be joined by Ben Spies, who despite some off-track excursions, is having a good weekend on the Yamaha YZR-M1 for a change. Casey Stoner will round out the front row, as he looks to claw back some points from Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who starts from fourth.
Not making it out for qualifying were Cal Crutchlow and Karel Abraham, as both were nursing injuries. Injuring his hand at Catalunya, Abraham has been a scratch for all the sessions this week, and is not racing on Sunday. Meanwhile local favorite Cal Crutchlow took a hard fall during FP3, with the tumble reported spraining the Manx rider’s ankle. Cructchlow’s participation in Sunday’s race is still questionable at this point in time.
Qualifying Results from the British GP at Silverstone, England:
|1||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||313.0||2’03.303||–|
|2||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||309.5||2’03.409||0.106|
|3||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||313.6||2’03.423||0.120|
|4||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||308.7||2’03.763||0.460|
|5||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||313.1||2’03.835||0.532|
|6||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||314.6||2’03.876||0.573|
|7||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||309.5||2’04.162||0.859|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||311.7||2’04.304||1.001|
|9||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||314.6||2’05.035||1.732|
|10||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||309.7||2’05.416||2.113|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||292.0||2’06.283||2.980|
|12||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||292.4||2’06.303||3.000|
|13||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||291.6||2’06.814||3.511|
|14||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||288.9||2’07.016||3.713|
|15||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||290.6||2’07.376||4.073|
|16||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||289.2||2’07.511||4.208|
|17||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||292.4||2’08.228||4.925|
|18||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||276.0||2’08.686||5.383|
|19||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||286.3||2’10.092||6.789|
|Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati|
|Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved