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:
|1||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1’37.188||–|
|2||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1’37.201||0.013|
|3||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1’37.289||0.101|
|4||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||1’37.466||0.278|
|5||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||1’37.723||0.535|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||1’37.917||0.729|
|7||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1’37.943||0.755|
|8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||1’38.006||0.818|
|9||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1’38.059||0.871|
|10||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1’38.253||1.065|
|11||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||1’38.265||1.077|
|12||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||1’39.353||2.165|
|13||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||1’39.398||2.210|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||1’39.586||2.398|
|15||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||1’40.029||2.841|
|16||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||1’40.225||3.037|
|17||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||1’40.387||3.199|
|18||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||1’40.964||3.776|
|19||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||1’41.394||4.206|
|20||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||1’41.486||4.298|
|21||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||1’41.490||4.302|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved