MotoGP – Pedrosa Takes First Pole Of 2011 At Brno

August 14, 2011

MotoGP

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the front position on the grid with a time of 1’56.591 in qualifying on Saturday, a time fast enough to put him on pole but still not a fast as the crushing lap he dealt Friday by a margin of 0.268s.

The premier class took to a dry track after the morning wet practice session, with reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) taking an early provisional pole and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) leading in second half of qualifying. But Pedrosa retaliated, grabbing back the top spot and keeping it until the end of the outing.

Lorenzo pushed hard, bettering his previous best time by four tenths with a time of 1’56.704, giving him a front row start in the second spot, followed by Stoner with lap of 1’56.860 to put him in the final front row spot.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from the front row least year in his MotoGP rookie season, qualified four with a 1’57.178. The Texan is joined on the second row by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), whose time of 1’57.351 placed him in fifth to start. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) joins the second row after posting a time of 1’57.367, giving him his best qualifying of the season so far.

Andrea Dovizioso will start from the third row, his time of 1’57.442 placing him seventh fastest. American duo Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) take the final two spots on the third row, while Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), riding for the first time in the MotoGP class at Brno after missing last year’s race through injury, completed the top ten.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed out of eighth position with 12 minutes remaining, running back to the pits to mount his second bike, finally concluding the qualifying in eleventh. The British rider’s crash was followed by Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham crashing out of qualifying, the 21 year old from Brno will start his home race from last on the grid.

John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) did not participate in the qualifying session due to injuries sustained in his FP3 crash pronouncing him unfit for racing.

Moto2:

The Moto2 rookie will start from the head of the front row after setting a new class record for the Brno circuit with a time of 2’02.493 aboard his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol machine. Márquez nabbed the top spot after a scrap for the lead with Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing). The German rider, whose best time was 2 tenths behind Márquez, has seen the young Spaniard chip away at his Championship lead and will start second behind him for the third successive race.

Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) joins the Championship leaders for his second start of the season on the first row thanks to his best lap of 2’02.725.

Making his first appearance in the top ten this weekend is Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), who will start the race from the head of row two. The Swiss rider starts ahead of Andrea Iannone (Speed Master) who made his best qualifying position of the season so far with a 2’02.943 to place him fifth on the grid. The last spot on row two will be occupied by Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) who posted a time of 2’03.461 despite still struggling with a fractured a vertebra sustained in the previous Sachsenring round.

Row three is an all Italian composition made up of Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project), Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) and Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing), giving the latter two their best qualifying positions of the season. Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing), who crashed out of the session, completes the top ten starters.

After crashing on the first lap, Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) was taken to the Medical Centre and did not return to qualifying, his fitness is yet to be determined for the race. Other riders not completing the session due to falls include Tito Rabat (Blusens-STX), and Santiago Hernández (SAG Team).

125cc:

With weather conditions completely changed from the morning practice, the 125cc qualifying took place on a dry track with Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) leading the category, progressively bettering his lap times until Nico Terol stepped up to his accustomed position as leader of the pack to post a final lap of 2’08.118, the fastest of the weekend so far.

Zarco’s time of 2’08.503 was 0.385s behind the Championship leader’s pole setting lap and half a second ahead of third place qualifier Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany). Frenchman Zarco, who will start from front row for the fifth time this season, is edging closer to his first win after being denied the victory by a photo finish in Germany.

Sachsenring race winner Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) heads up an all Spanish row two after posting a time of 2’08.689. Faubel is joined by Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) who had an early run off during the session, and Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) who was ranked ninth fastest in the dry on Friday.

Danny Kent (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) leads row three, which is the British rider’s best qualifying of the season. Alberto Moncayo (Team Andalucía Banca Cívica), who bounced back from a crash in morning practice, sits next on the grid with Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team), whose fall in the last five minutes dashed the rookie’s hopes for another front row start after his pole in Germany, starts from the final spot on the third row.

Italian Simone Grotzkyj (Phonica Racing), Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) and French rider Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology Forward Team) comprise row four

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