MotoGP: A Qualifying of Eras at the Valencian GP

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With some cooperation from the weather at the track in Valencia, MotoGP enjoyed its last dry qualifying session of the season. Saturday’s afternoon session was a stark contrast to Friday’s Free Practice sessions, which had mostly been a wasted day for the GP riders. With nothing on the line for the Valencian GP, riders in MotoGP are mostly racing this weekend for pride and bragging rights.

Casey Stoner’s last race in MotoGP, the Australian is surely looking for a good result, though there are question marks regarding his ankle. His teammate Dani Pedrosa is also looking for a strong result in his home country, with the Spaniard now out of the Championship hunt, but looking to end what has been a stellar second-half of a season in the Repsol Honda squad.

The man to stop though is his once bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo, who will carry the #1 plate next year. For Lorenzo, Valencia is about winning the most races in the 2012 season, with him and Pedrosa tied at six a piece.

For many of the other riders, Sunday’s race marks the last time they will be in the premier class, with their current teams, or even on the same kind of race bike. Perhaps the biggest piece of anticipation for the race, is the post-season testing the follows it. But, first things first.

The names on the front row for tomorrow are surely familiar ones, though the biggest point of note is Dani Pedrosa’s dominating pole-position lap time. Setting an outright “Best Lap” record at Valencia, which had been resurfaced ahead of the Valencian GP, Pedrosa shattered the record that was previously held by Valentino Rossi.

This is important for two reasons: 1) The previous lap record was the last standing lap record that was set during the 990cc era, and 2) the previous lap record was the last record, set in either qualifying or racing, that had Rossi’s name on it.

The G.O.A.T., the Valencia test and his return to Yamaha Racing might not be able to come soon enough.

Qualifying Results from the Valencian GP at Valencia, Spain:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike KM/H Time Diff.
1 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 326.4 1’30.844
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 321.4 1’31.195 0.351
3 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 322.9 1’31.428 0.584
4 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 321.4 1’31.512 0.668
5 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 324.8 1’31.757 0.913
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 321.6 1’31.795 0.951
7 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 320.7 1’32.503 1.659
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 323.5 1’32.585 1.741
9 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 327.0 1’32.605 1.761
10 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 305.7 1’32.834 1.990
11 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 319.6 1’32.877 2.033
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 306.4 1’33.346 2.502
13 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati 320.3 1’33.442 2.598
14 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter 309.3 1’33.453 2.609
15 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR 303.8 1’33.971 3.127
16 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 315.9 1’33.979 3.135
17 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 300.0 1’33.980 3.136
18 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR 300.9 1’34.407 3.563
19 Roberto ROLFO ITA Speed Master ART 303.9 1’34.866 4.022
20 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART 304.6 1’34.918 4.074
21 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens BQR 309.1 1’35.363 4.519
22 Claudio CORTI ITA Avintia Blusens Inmotec 300.0 1’36.531 5.687

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