MotoGP Press Release:
What had been anticipated as a wet qualifying session after the rainy conditions so far, turned out to be a psychological battle with the elements, as a drying track and hovering dark clouds made conditions far from easy in MotoGP qualifying at the Gran Premio bwin de España. It was an absolutely thrilling affair as the Jerez track dried out in the nick of time, resulting in a frantic battle to the end as Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo took pole position in front of his home crowd ahead of compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
After a spate of wet practice sessions, Yamaha Factory Racing´s Lorenzo took full advantage of the dry track, as he left it until the final lap to post a time of 1.39´532. Repsol Honda´s Pedrosa could not quite match the pace of his rival, yet starts tomorrow´s race from second on the grid, making it a Spanish one-two.
Completing the front row is surprise inclusion Nicky Hayden, who wrung the neck of his Ducati to place it third, just over a second behind Lorenzo. Fourth place went to Monster Yamaha Tech3´s Cal Crutchlow despite a crash towards the end. A rain scare half way through the session did however almost see him steal his first ever pole.
Stoner, who almost came off his bike at turn one, could not match the pace of his team mate, and had to settle for fifth on the grid. The second row is rounded out by Lorenzo´s team mate Spies, who was back on form after some subdued practice sessions in the wet, though a full 1.5s off the front.
Row three is headed up by Crutchlow´s team mate Andrea Dovizioso in seventh, while San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Álvaro Bautista, LCR Honda MotoGP´s Stefan Bradl and Power Electronics Aspar´s Randy de Puniet complete the top ten.
Valentino Rossi endured another disappointing qualifying session, finishing as last non-CRT bike again in 13th, after having shown promise in the earlier wet practice.
With a few damp patches still out on track, numerous riders were caught out including Avintia Blusens´ Yonny Hernandez, San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Michele Pirro, NGM Mobile Forward Racing´s Colin Edwards and Pramac Racing Team´s Hector Barberá, all suffering crashes throughout the session.
This is the first time since the 2010 Valencia MotoGP round that three separate manufacturers make up the front row.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 2012 MotoGP round from Jerez, Spain will air LIVE on SPEED on Sunday, April 29 at 8:00am ET. Qualifying will air LIVE all season long on SPEED2.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
2 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
5 1 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda
6 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
8 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda
9 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda
10 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Ducati
12 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati
13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 282.3
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART
15 51 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR
16 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART
17 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda
19 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR
20 77 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART
21 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter