MotoGP: Qualifying Bodes Well for the San Marino GP

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Not too hot, not to cold…that’s Misano for Saturday’s qualifying event. After seeing Friday’s FP1 & FP2 sessions obliterated by a damp, but not wet, track, MotoGP riders found things for Saturday to be just right. The first chance for Jonathan Rea to get a proper go at the Honda RC213V, the Honda WSBK rider is merely “filling in” for the injured Casey Stoner, but many in the paddock believe that a good showing from Rea could land him on the Honda Gresini machine for next year — the last prototype seat in MotoGP still available.

While we will undoubtedly have to wait a bit longer to see that seat filled and sorted, the big attention for the day was the battle between the two Spaniards, as Dani Pedrosa is running out of rounds to catch up to rival Jorge Lorenzo in the Championship. Needing a win this weekend to keep those hopes alive, many GP fans are hoping for another battle between the two riders, like the one we recently saw in Brno. If the qualifying session is any proof of the matter, racing on Sunday should be quite good.

The Dani Pedrosa Show for the majority of the hour-long session, qualifying for the San Marino GP showed a strong pace from Jorge Lorenzo, as well as moments of clarity for Cal Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl. The Englishman has another front-row start, while Bradl continues to impress in his rookie debut. Meanwhile, Ben Spies’s bad luck continued, as the American crash mid-session, and had to complete qualifying on his “B” bike, which had a different setup from his peppy “A” machine.

Qualifying Results from the San Marino GP at Misano, Italy:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 289.4 1’33.857
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 284.1 1’33.875 0.018
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 283.2 1’34.001 0.144
4 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 284.1 1’34.221 0.364
5 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 283.4 1’34.299 0.442
6 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 280.7 1’34.619 0.762
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 281.0 1’34.916 1.059
8 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 285.9 1’34.988 1.131
9 Jonathan REA GBR Repsol Honda Team Honda 285.6 1’35.358 1.501
10 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 280.0 1’35.401 1.544
11 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 281.9 1’35.648 1.791
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 269.1 1’35.756 1.899
13 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 284.6 1’36.048 2.191
14 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 268.7 1’36.284 2.427
15 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 271.1 1’36.340 2.483
16 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 266.1 1’37.124 3.267
17 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 267.1 1’37.162 3.305
18 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR 266.3 1’37.316 3.459
19 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 265.0 1’37.751 3.894
20 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 265.3 1’38.068 4.211
21 David SALOM SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 266.1 1’40.075 6.218

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