MotoGP: Crashes Shake-Up Qualifying at Jerez

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Qualifying for the Spanish GP got underway today under the sunny, but windy skies of Jerez, Spain. Unsurprising to just about anyone, the Repsol Hondas of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were on the top of the time sheets, with local Jorge Lorenzo completing the front row and only 0.16 seconds off the qualifying pace. While the rank and order surprises few, all eyes will be on the latter stages of tomorrow’s race to see how Dani Pedrosa can manage with his ailing shoulder, which the Spaniard will have operated on immediately after the GP

The qualifying session saw a total of six riders hitting the tarmac and gravel traps, with many blaming the wind as a contributing factor. The list of riders crashing includes Valentino Rossi, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards, Randy de Puniet, Karel Abraham, and Hiroshi Aoyama. Thankfully no one was injured, but in the case of Rossi, it meant trashing his preferred bike for the session, causing him to qualify on his other machine, and landing 12th on the starting grid.

He’ll be joined on the fourth row by teammate Nicky Hayden, who has been having a miserable season thus far on the Desmosedici GP11, and once again Randy de Puniet proved himself to be the fastest Ducati, qualifying seventh. Honorable mentions go out to John Hopkins, who continued his progress filling in for the injured Alvaro Bautista this weekend with a fourteenth grid position for tomorrow’s race. With a good start we could see a mid-pack finish for Hopper, who has shown marked improvement with each session on the Suzuki GSV-R.

With the rain very likely to make an appearance for tomorrow’s race, all bets are off for how the Spanish GP will shape-up.

Qualifying Results from the Spanish GP at Jerez, Spain:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Time Diff.
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team 1’38.757
2 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’38.915 0.158
3 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing 1’38.918 0.161
4 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing 1’39.390 0.633
5 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’39.486 0.729
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team 1’39.709 0.952
7 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team 1’39.892 1.135
8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’39.895 1.138
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’40.019 1.262
10 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’40.168 1.411
11 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team 1’40.175 1.418
12 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team 1’40.185 1.428
13 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 1’40.217 1.460
14 21 John HOPKINS USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’40.310 1.553
15 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team 1’40.523 1.766
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 1’40.601 1.844
17 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP 1’41.114 2.357

Photo: Yamaha Racing