The 2012 MotoGP Championship continues its trend of mixed weather, as riders had to contend with an evening rain that washed the Brno circuit. A decisive moment in the Championship points, the Czech GP already dashed the hopes of Casey Stoner, who after consulting with his Doctors back in Australia, was advised to sit out the Czech round and return back to Oz for surgery on the ankle he injured last weekend at Indianapolis. Also sitting out the weekend were Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera, with the Spaniard being again replaced by Toni Elias.
It was not all doom and gloom on Saturday though, as Cal Crutchlow announced his new contract with Monster Yamaha Tech 3, ending the speculation as to where the likable Brit would land for the 2013 season. With Jorge Lorenzo only 18 points ahead of Dani Pedrosa, Brno is a critical round to nail down a solid lead in the Championship, though the Repsol Honda man has been gaining momentum the past few rounds.
Pedrosa will need that momentum on Sunday, as Saturday at the Czech GP belonged to the Yamahas. Crashing early in the session, Pedrosa just managed a decent lap in the closing minutes of qualifying, disrupting Yamaha’s total grid dominance. Still, with four Yamahas in the Top 5, Pedrosa will have his work cut-out for him, especially with Jorge Lorenzo showing an impressive pace. Equally impressive were Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies, and everyone will be holding their breath for the Texan tomorrow, hoping that he is not the recipient of further bad luck on race day.
Of note too is Valentino Rossi, with the Italian’s Ducati showing its first signs of dry-weather prowess. Rossi was up-beat about his chances for race day, and the Czech GP might be the first race this season where Rossi doesn’t pray for rainy conditions for the race. Time will tell if his prayers will be answered.
Qualifying Results from the Czech GP at Brno, Czech Republic:
|1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||306.8||1’55.799||–|
|2||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||303.3||1’55.995||0.196|
|3||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||309.9||1’56.327||0.528|
|4||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||305.6||1’56.331||0.532|
|5||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||307.5||1’56.559||0.760|
|6||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||304.1||1’56.735||0.936|
|7||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||306.0||1’56.827||1.028|
|8||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||305.9||1’57.068||1.269|
|9||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||Ducati||309.6||1’57.773||1.974|
|10||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||291.2||1’57.844||2.045|
|11||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||291.5||1’58.153||2.354|
|12||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Avintia Blusens||BQR||286.5||1’59.087||3.288|
|13||Toni ELIAS||SPA||Pramac Racing Team||Ducati||306.5||1’59.120||3.321|
|14||Michele PIRRO||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||FTR||285.1||1’59.387||3.588|
|15||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||Suter||291.2||1’59.863||4.064|
|16||Mattia PASINI||ITA||Speed Master||ART||285.4||1’59.865||4.066|
|17||James ELLISON||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||287.3||2’00.316||4.517|
|18||Ivan SILVA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||BQR||285.8||2’00.329||4.530|
|19||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda||272.0||2’00.854||5.055|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: Yamaha Racing