MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 16: Australia GP > Qualifying
MotoGPAustraliaOctober 4, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australia Grand Prix at Phillip Island Qualifying

Red-Hot Hayden on from and on Front Row

Race Results >>

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) qualified on the front row for the fourth time this season as Casey Stoner (Ducati) took pole with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) second quickest here at this raw and rapid coastal circuit.

Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team) Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

All six premier class Honda riders are in the top ten qualifying positions with Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) heading row two as fourth fastest rider. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) put in the sixth fastest time in this hour of timed qualifying to secure a start from the second row too.

After a soaking wet Friday when Hayden showed his mastery of this track with the fastest time, a full three quarters of a second quicker than Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V), Nicky again today demonstrated his prowess at this imposing venue.

James Toseland (Yamaha) topped the timesheets early on before Stoner made the first serious bid for supremacy with a 1m 30.124s time. The Aussie former World Champion had crashed in the morning session, but was back charging hard in the afternoon.

De Puniet and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) had both crashed yesterday and another high profile faller today was Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who ran off track on the exit of the Southern Loop section towards the end of the hour.

The World Champion returned to the track but ran out of time to try and set a fast lap on the last of his qualifying tyres. He will start from 12th, sharing the same row as De Angelis who managed tenth today.

Dovizioso looked strong throughout this session, as he had yesterday in the wet. With 23 minutes remaining on the clock, the young Italian set a 1m 29.675s time to grab provisional pole, before Hayden stole it with a 1m 29.628s lap.

Then it was Lorenzo’s turn for provisional pole at 1m 29.401s as the clock ticked into the final 20 minutes and the fight was truly on to get the upper hand here. Toseland moved to second, Dovi to third having been bumped down the order, and then with 15 minutes left Nicky took top slot again with 1m 29.281s lap.

There was more to come too. Dani fired in a 1m 29.277s lap before Lorenzo became the first rider to break the 1m 29s barrier with a 1m 28.990s time. With ten minutes remaining both Repsol riders were on the front row. Nicky, as if to emphasise his ease here, then smashed his own 2006 lap record with a 1m 28.756s lap.

It looked as if Nicky might hold onto pole until Stoner delivered his hammer blow lap with a minute left, his 1m 28.665s time too hot for the rest of the field. But with a mere 1.26 seconds covering the top ten riders here, tomorrow’s race is likely to be even hotter.

Nicky, on the front row, said: “I’ve had a couple of poles here before, and today another one certainly wasn’t out of the question, there was less than a tenth in it. I would really liked to have been on pole, the season’s on its way out, so it would be nice to have salvaged one of them. But we have been competitive all weekend, fastest this morning and in the rain yesterday, so we’re not too far away. I know the race isn’t going to be easy, we need to sweeten up the bike to see if we can get some more traction, also the rider’s going to have to get it together a little better. The team is doing a great job here, everyone at Repsol Honda is working hard and the Michelin tyres seem to be good.”

De Puniet, heading row two, said: “I’m very happy about the result and the job we made for tomorrow’s race. We tested different rear race tyres with good results but we still have to make our choice. However my pace was consistently fast and I can say we’ve got the potential to finish in the top eight positions. I feel satisfied about my performance and I only missed the front row by one tenth of a second. This 4th place is a very positive result for me and the crew.”

Dani, sixth fastest, said: “The Bridgestone qualifying tyres worked very well in this afternoon’s session but I couldn’t exploit their potential to the maximum. We struggled a bit this morning because conditions were pretty cold, then everything improved this afternoon with warmer track temperatures All in all, it was a positive day, I have a good race pace, which is most important, and I’m feeling quite confident for the race. Tomorrow it will important to have a good start, the first laps will be crucial.”

Dovi, eighth on row three, said: “I’m very satisfied with practice and qualifying today. After an excellent day yesterday, today we have continued to work towards being competitive in the race. We achieved that result, but tomorrow is another day and we will have to do the best we can. We have made the most of all the material made available by Michelin, even trying a very soft compound tyre, and we have also made progress with the front rubber. I can always turn a time of around 1m 31s that would allow me to stay with the front-runners. I will have to make a good start but from the third row I think I can recover some positions.”

Ninth-fastest Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), in the top ten again for the eighth time this season, said: “During free practice yesterday and this morning we tried a few things and put a decent pace together. Even though we weren’t consistent we put a lot of fast laps in. In the afternoon we changed the front setting a little to try and get a bit more out of the qualifying tyres and with the last one we improved. I’m satisfied with my race pace and happy with the position on the grid. We need a little more traction for the race tomorrow so we’ll experiment with a modified rear setting in the warm-up.”

De Angelis, tenth quickest qualifier, said: “Qualifying today was back to the same level as our normal standard but in general our race pace is even better than the grid position suggests. It will be important to get a good start tomorrow, make up some places and try to have a good race. We’ve definitely got the potential to stay in the top ten.”

250cc

Series points leader Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) took his sixth pole of the season here with a 1m 32.075s lap having dominated here for most of the session. His nearest title rival Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) had second place on the grid snatched away from him in the final minute by Mika Kallio (KTM).

The front row comprises Simoncelli, Kallio, Bautista and Hector Faubel (Aprilia). Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) qualified seventh fastest with a best time of 1m 33.294 seconds while Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW), who held fifth spot with five minutes left ultimately had to be satisfied with 12th on the grid.

Takahashi said: “This afternoon I went well, better than this morning and I can be fast now. The second row is a good result, but I could have done better than seventh place if I had not made an error, crashing! I returned to the pits and I changed bikes there was no opportunity to improve. The team has done a good job, and we focused on the suspension, especially the forks. In warm-up we’ll look at some changes but also keep the fast pace this race will run at.”

An on-form Wilairot said: “I’m very happy with my lap times they are fast and very consistent - but not my position on the grid. I have found very good tyres and chassis set-up, my engine is good and I can follow almost everybody. I am confident for the race but I will need to get a good start and push hard in the first two laps to stay in the top positions.”

125cc

Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) starts from pole for the second time in his career. The World Championship points leader notched a 1m 37.553s lap to head Bradley Smith, Stefan Bradl and Nicolas Terol (all Aprilia) on the front row.

His Championship rivals Simone Corsi and Gabor Talmacsi could only manage eighth and ninth, both their times just under a second shy of Di Meglio’s pole marker. Cyril Carrillo (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) qualified in 32nd place.

He said: “This country is different to anything I’ve experienced before. The circuit has very fast curves, nothing like other circuits. It’s not easy to learn. Today’s qualifying practice allowed me to improve on the previous day, even though I was hoping for even better times. I feel much more comfortable on the Honda. Unfortunately in today’s second run I followed a pack of riders who are usually fast but I got trapped as they weren’t riding flat out and I couldn’t improve on my first run.”

Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 3rd - 1m28.756s.
"The front row is always really important and I'm happy to there, but to be honest I'm a bit disappointed. I've had a couple of poles here before, and today another one certainly wasn't out of the question, there was less than a tenth in it. I would really liked to have been on pole, the season's on its way out, so it would be nice to have salvaged one of them. But we have been competitive all weekend, fastest this morning and in the rain yesterday, so we're not too far away. I know the race isn't going to be easy, we need to sweeten up the bike to see if we can get some more traction, also the rider's going to have to get it together a little better. The team is doing a great job here, everyone at Repsol Honda is working hard and the Michelin tyres seem to be good. I'll try to get in there tomorrow and not let these guys get away from me."

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 4th - 1m 28.808s.
“I am very happy about the result and the job we made for tomorrow’s race. We tested different rear race tyres with good results but we still have to make our choice for the race. However my pace was consistently fast and I can say that we have got the potential to finish in the top eight positions. I feel satisfied about my performance on q-tyres and missed the front row for one tenth only but this 4th place is a very positive result for me and the crew”.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 6th - 1m 29.277s.
"Tomorrow I will take the start from the second row - it's important to be close to the front of the grid for this race, so you can get away with the leaders. The Bridgestone qualifying tyres worked very well in this afternoon's qualifying session but I couldn't exploit their potential to the maximum. We struggled a bit this morning because conditions were pretty cold, then everything improved this afternoon with warmer track temperatures All in all, it was a positive day, I have a good race pace, which is most important, and I'm feeling quite confident for the race. Tomorrow it will important to have a good start, the first laps will be crucial. Tyres consistency will be determined but it is also very physical race."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 8th - 1m 29.558s.
"I am very satisfied with practice and qualifying today. After an excellent day yesterday, today we have continued to work towards being competitive in the race. We achieved that result, but tomorrow is another day and we will have to do the best we can. We have made the most of all the material made available by Michelin, even trying a very soft compound tyre, and we have also made progress with the front rubber. I can always turn a time of around 1'37" that would allow me to stay with the front-runners. I will have to make a good start but from the third row I think I can recover some positions well. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will have the chance to make some more adjustments, but we know which way to go, so I think we could make a good race.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th - 1m 29.710s.
“During free practice yesterday and this morning we tried a few things and put a decent pace together. Even though we weren’t consistent we put a lot of fast laps in. In the afternoon we changed the front setting a little to try and get a bit more out of the qualifying tyres and with the last one we improved. I’m satisfied with my race pace and happy with the position on the grid. We need a little more traction for the race tomorrow so we’ll experiment with a modified rear setting in the warm-up.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 10th - 1m 29.925s.
“Qualifying today was back to the same level as our normal standard but in general our race pace is even better than the grid position suggests. It will be important to get a good start tomorrow, make up some places and try to have a good race. We’ve definitely got the potential to stay in the top ten.”

250cc:

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 7th - 1m 33.294s.
"This afternoon I went well, better than this morning and I can be fast now. The second row is a good result, but I could have done better than seventh place if I had not committed an error, coming along in a turn and then crashing! I returned to the pits and I changed bikes there was no opportunity to improve. The team has done a good job, and we focused on tuning the suspension, especially the forks. In warm-up we will still make a point of looking at some changes that could allow me to be more consistent but also keep the fast pace that this race will run at. Tomorrow I will have to make a good start to stay with the leaders from the beginning of the race.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 12th - 1m 33.538s.
“I’m very happy with my lap times they are fast and very consistent - but I am not my position on the grid. I have found very good tyres and chassis set up, my engine is good and I can follow almost everybody. I am confident for the race but I will need to get a good start and push hard in the first two laps to stay in the top positions.”

125cc:

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda: 32nd - 1m 41.821s.
“This country is different anything I've experienced before. The circuit has very fast curves, nothing to do with the previous circuits. It’s not that obvious to learn. Today’s qualifying practice allowed me to improve on the previous day, even though I was hoping for even better times. I feel much more comfortable on the Honda. Unfortunately in today’s second run I followed a pack of riders who are usually fast but I got trapped as they weren’t riding flat out and I couldn’t improve on my first run.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australia Grand Prix at Phillip Island Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
5 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
6 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
9 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
12 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
13 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
14 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
15 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
16 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
17 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
18 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
 
250cc
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
6 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
8 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
9 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
10 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
12 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
 
125cc
1 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
2 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
3 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
4 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
5 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
6 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
7 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
8 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
9 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
10 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Motorsport)
 
   

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