MotoGP: Yamahas Dominate Qualifying at Brno

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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:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
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