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:
|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