MotoGP: Red Flag Interrupts Congested Qualifying at Estoril

05/05/2012 @ 11:06 am, by Jensen BeelerComments Off on MotoGP: Red Flag Interrupts Congested Qualifying at Estoril

With mixed weather at the Portuguese track, MotoGP riders headed out for their last qualifying session at Estoril for the foreseeable future. With the rain making a brief appearance, riders had to contend with changing conditions, though the biggest disruption to the qualifying session was the red flag stoppage for an injured rider.

With a congested track at Estoril, lapped bikes played a crucial element for riders trying to get in a flying lap. As such, the order for Sunday’s racing grid has some surprises from GP fans. Spoilers and qualifying results for the 2012 Portuguese GP are after the jump.

In a session that saw a number of riders go off course and through the gravel, though mostly staying upright, the biggest incident out of Estoril was the crash by Randy de Puniet that knocked down Colin Edwards. Sending both riders to Clinica Mobile, qualifying had to be stopped as Edwards lay near the track’s edge with a suspected broken collarbone. Letting RdP pass him on the inside, Edwards’s BMW/Suter was struck as de Puniet’s Aprilia lost the front, and skidded along the track.

The red flag broke up the rhythm of the day’s qualifying, which saw a number of riders caught out by encountering slower traffic during their flying laps. No one fell victim to this more than Ben Spies though, as the American had to scrub three of his fast laps of the day, and will thus start from the second row because of it.

With Estoril known for its many different types of asphalt, riders complained of grip and feeling issues. This plagued the factory Ducatis of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, as well as factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. It didn’t seem to affect one Cal Crutchlow though, as the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider has again put himself on the front row, much to the dismay of Andrea Dovizioso and Mr. Elbowz.

Unsurprisingly, Casey Stoner sits on pole, followed by teammate Dani Pedrosa. With the Hondas being quick all week, they will surely be the ones to beat in tomorrow’s race. Don’t count out the Yamahas though, as all for of them have shown potential for podium positions.

Qualifying Results from the Portuguese GP at Estoril, Portugal:

1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda1’37.188
2Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda1’37.2010.013
3Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1’37.2890.101
4Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha1’37.4660.278
5Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha1’37.7230.535
6Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda1’37.9170.729
7Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1’37.9430.755
8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati1’38.0060.818
9Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati1’38.0590.871
10Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati1’38.2531.065
11Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda1’38.2651.077
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART1’39.3532.165
13Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati1’39.3982.210
14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART1’39.5862.398
15Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR1’40.0292.841
16Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR1’40.2253.037
17Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART1’40.3873.199
18Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter1’40.9643.776
19James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART1’41.3944.206
20Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda1’41.4864.298
21Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR1’41.4904.302

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

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