MotoGP > MotoGP 2009 Round 01: Qatar GP > Qualifying
MotoGPQuatarApril 11, 2009
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail Qualifying

Dovizioso Fourth In Repsol Honda Debut

Results MotoGP >>
Results 125-250cc >>

The first ever lone 45-minute qualifying session was held under the lights on a warm, windy evening in Losail, with the established order showing the way in advance of tomorrow's season-opening Commercial bank Grand Prix of Qatar.

 

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team) Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)


Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Casey Stoner (Ducati) topped the two MotoGP practice sessions and continued his good form in qualifying. The 2007 World Champion moved to the top of the leaderboard after just under five of the 45 minutes, dropping early leader Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) to second. At the time, San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis was a close third with LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet fifth, three Hondas in the top five.

For the next 40 minutes, Stoner continued to improve his time, finishing with a pole position time of 1m, 55.286s. The lap was roughly 1.3s off the 2008 pole position time of Jorge Lorenzo, third today behind teammate Valentino Rossi (both Yamaha). Stoner finished with a cushion of .473s on Rossi and .497 on Lorenzo.

Much of the difference can be traced to tires. This is the first race with Bridgestone as the sole tire supplier and the company provided two rear tire choices, a medium and a soft. The softer of the two wouldn't last an entire race; it became, in effect, a qualifying tire which most everyone used for their fast laps. And both Stoner and Rossi voiced concerns about the longevity of the medium tire in race conditions.

In his first ride on the factory Repsol Honda RC212V, Dovizioso missed out on a front row starting position by just .194s. The Italian proved he was worthy of his promotion to the factory team by dueling with Stoner in the early going, then remaining solidly in the top five for almost the entire session. His best lap of 1:55.977 came on his final flying lap of the 5.38 kms. track.

LCR Honda's Randy de Puniet will start the race directly behind Dovizioso on the row three pole. Now in his second year on the RC212V, the Frenchman threw himself into the mix with a blazing burst of speed that vaulted him into second as the final third of the session approached. That was his 13th lap and it would remain his best. San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis is at the other end of the third row after qualifying ninth.

Teammate Toni Elias will start the factory supported Honda RC212V from the end of row four in twelfth place in his return to the San Carlo Honda Gresini squad. One row back sits Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa. The injured Spaniard is still unable to bend his surgically repaired left knee, the legacy of a testing crash here one month ago, but rode valiantly as he looks for points in Sunday's race. He was helped by having the fastest motorcycle in the field, with a top speed of 338.6 km/h.

Two-time 250cc winner Yuki Takahashi qualified 17th and will make his MotoGP debut from the sixth row.

Andrea Dovizioso, starting his first race for the Repsol Honda team, said: “I'm very happy of this session. We did a hard work during the qualifying testing two bikes with two different set up. Both solutions gave a good feedback, I got a positive feeling and the machine improved. I'm happy of the rhythm we have found for the race pace with the hard tyres and also the lap times with the soft tyre. I'm happy also because I had room for improvement also during my last lap with soft tyre, in fact I made a mistake and I spoiled my good time I had a T1. All in all I'm very satisfied, when we get into racing which suits better with my mentality and I can give my best in racing.”

Randy De Puniet, with a time of 1m 56.358s for seventh on the grid, said: “I am happy because we made a good job during the three sessions and improved a lot my feeling on qualifiers. We made some adjustments on the setting and now the bike turns better and I feel more aggressive in the corner entry. I was expecting this since a long time, so I feel quite satisfied. The winter was hard as we missed some track time so we are very pleased with this third row. I am getting used to Bridgestone tyres and feel more comfortable now. I aim to finish the race in the top six”.

Alex De Angelis, who finished 9th with a best time of 1m 56.790s, said: “I think we're in good shape to have a really good race tomorrow. I don't think we're quite on the pace to be fighting for the podium but we can definitely be in the running for a top result. I'm really pleased with the race setting but on the softer tyre when we went for a quick lap time the tyre started to lose grip after just a few corners and I wasn't able to make the most of it. If we can get a little more grip from the rear on the harder compound that would be great too and that's what we'll work on in the warm-up. Anyway, a third-row start should give me the opportunity to have a nice race and I'm ready for the battle! ”

Toni Elias, on his return to the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, said: “I think we're in good shape to have a really good race tomorrow. I don't think we're quite on the pace to be fighting for the podium but we can definitely be in the running for a top result. I'm really pleased with the race setting but on the softer tyre when we went for a quick lap time the tyre started to lose grip after just a few corners and I wasn't able to make the most of it. If we can get a little more grip from the rear on the harder compound that would be great too and that's what we'll work on in the warm-up. Anyway, a third-row start should give me the opportunity to have a nice race and I'm ready for the battle! ”

Yuki Takahashi, making his MotoGP debut with the Scot Racing Team MotoGP, said: “We had several tests to do to improve the bike, and 45 minutes probably is too short a time. After 20 minutes I decided to use new tyres and went out for fast lap, but I could not find help from any other rider. I lapped alone, and this made it more difficult. Anyway, I was able to improve my time and then went back to my box. We did some adjustments. to the bike, then out again with just a few minutes to go. I was in a good group of riders - Dovizioso, De Puniet, Hayden - but Nicky fell down just in front of me. I had to brake to avoid him, lost time and, when I passed the finish line, they were already waiving the chequered flag”.

Dani Pedrosa, struggling with injuries to a time of 1m 57.729s, said: “Well, we've made it into the race and that was the aim of coming to Qatar, so I'm pleased with that. I didn't expect to improve my lap time by this much from yesterday, so this is good progress. The leg feels a little better and I pushed harder today than yesterday, though this situation is not something that is fixed after one day. My lap time is not really so bad considering my condition and the time I've spent away from the track, but for sure I wanted to be faster than this and a bit further forward on the grid. Still, the race is here we'll get ready to give it the maximum effort tomorrow. Maybe I can improve my lap times by a further second or so.”

250cc World Championship

Scot Racing Team 250cc rider Hiroshi Aoyama came within a tenth of a second of taking the pole position for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix with his very last lap in the rain-delayed qualifying session. The Japanese star lapped the 5.38 ks Losail International Circuit just a tick slower than pole-sitter Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) in Saturday night's 45-minute session that ended at 1:15 a.m. local time. Having built up his speed throughout, Aoyama's final lap was his best, but it was heartbreakingly short of perfection. Still, he's happy to be on the front row in his first race for the Scot Racing team.

Hector Faubel will start for his new team, Valencia CF - Honda SAG from the second row. The Spaniard qualified fifth fastest and on the same second as the pole-sitter.

Ratthapark Wilairot will start the Thai Honda PTT SAG Honda from 12th on the grid, two spots in front of Raffaele de Rosa of Scot Racing Team 250cc. CIP Moto - GP250's Shoya Tomizawa will start his first grand prix outside of Japan in 16th. Racing Team Germany's Bastien Chesaux will make his debut for the team from the 21st starting spot.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team 250cc) qualified second and said: “Let me thank my crew. They are helping me a lot and the bike is good. There are a few things that we would like to improve, but we cannot. Anyway, I'm quite happy. About tomorrow, and the race, I'm convinced we can do well. We know the track, and the bike has an excellent set-up. The problem is that, at this site, the weather condition can change suddenly. Who knows how it will be tomorrow?”

Hector Faubel (Valencia CF - Honda SAG) qualified fifth and said: “The day has finished but it looks like it has only just begun. I cannot wait until tomorrow, since today was so short for me. Today I have felt confident with the motorcycle, although we had a small problem with the carburetion and I know that I am going to obtain good results. The margin of improvement still exists and is still very big and this gives me more motivation to continue working. I've done 45 minutes with the same tire and with the settings of the last test day going in the right direction. If we look at the past testing days, today it has been the best day since the beginning.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG) qualified 12th and said: “Today the time was not very good. The wind was helping us in the straight, but at the corner entry it was unsettling for the bike. It has been the first day that we have done only one session of 45 minutes. Nonetheless, the adjustment has been good from the beginning. I continue having good feeling on the motorcycle and this is good. We will see tomorrow if the conditions will be good and this way to be able to lap with more confidence.”

Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Racing Team 250cc), moving up from the 125cc class, qualified 14th and said: “Having just a half day, on Friday, made it more complicated. We did a good job on the chassis. I'm not really worried, because we decided to work aiming at the race, and not the qualifying. Not everything is ok, but we improved almost everywhere. The engine is ok”.

Three-time Japanese wild card Shoya Tomizawa (CIP Moto-GP250) qualified 16th and said: I'm fairly happy with the result as the track condition kept changing. We still have to work a little more on the set-up, because this time the front end wasn't quite right and I felt a little lack of grip on the rear, so I couldn't really push harder. But my overall feeling is that I can go faster. We did improve a little bit on the gear ratio. My confidence keeps growing on this racetrack, but I think I was a little slow for changing direction. Another thing I have to work on is learning how to follow faster riders to get a better lap time.

Class rookie Bastien Chesaux (Racing Team Germany), starting his first full GP season, qualified 21st

125cc World Championship

Jasper Iwema (Racing Team Germany) qualified 25th with a time of 2m 11.864s.

Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 4th - 1m 55.977s.
“I'm very happy of this session. We did a hard work during the qualifying testing two bikes with two different set up. Both solutions gave a good feedback, I got a positive feeling and the machine improved. I'm happy of the rhythm we have found for the race pace with the hard tyres and also the lap times with the soft tyre. I'm happy also because I had room for improvement also during my last lap with soft tyre, in fact I made a mistake and I spoiled my good time I had a T1. All in all I'm very satisfied, When we get into racing which suits better with my mentality and I can give my best in racing.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 7th - 1m 56.358s.
“I am happy because we made a good job during the three sessions and improved a lot my feeling on qualifiers. We made some adjustments on the setting and now the bike turns better and I feel more aggressive in the corner entry. I was expecting this since a long time, so I feel quite satisfied. The winter was hard as we missed some track time so we are very pleased with this third row. I am getting used to Bridgestone tyres and feel more comfortable now. I aim to finish the race in the top six”.

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th - 1m 56.790s.
“I think we're in good shape to have a really good race tomorrow. I don't think we're quite on the pace to be fighting for the podium but we can definitely be in the running for a top result. I'm really pleased with the race setting but on the softer tyre when we went for a quick lap time the tyre started to lose grip after just a few corners and I wasn't able to make the most of it. If we can get a little more grip from the rear on the harder compound that would be great too and that's what we'll work on in the warm-up. Anyway, a third-row start should give me the opportunity to have a nice race and I'm ready for the battle! ”

Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 12th - 1m 57.225s.
“I think we're in good shape to have a really good race tomorrow. I don't think we're quite on the pace to be fighting for the podium but we can definitely be in the running for a top result. I'm really pleased with the race setting but on the softer tyre when we went for a quick lap time the tyre started to lose grip after just a few corners and I wasn't able to make the most of it. If we can get a little more grip from the rear on the harder compound that would be great too and that's what we'll work on in the warm-up. Anyway, a third-row start should give me the opportunity to have a nice race and I'm ready for the battle! ”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 14th - 1m 57.729s.
“Well, we've made it into the race and that was the aim of coming to Qatar so I'm pleased with that. I didn't expect to improve my lap time by this much from yesterday so this is good progress. The leg feels a little better and I pushed harder today than yesterday, though this situation is not something that is fixed after one day. My lap time is not really so bad considering my condition and the time I've spent away from the track, but for sure I wanted to be faster than this and a bit further forward on the grid. Still, the race is here we'll get ready to give it the maximum effort tomorrow. Maybe I can improve my lap times by a further second or so.”

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Racing Team MotoGP: 17th - 1m 58.784s.
“We had several tests to do to improve the bike, and 45 minutes probably is too short a time. After 20 minutes I decided to use new tyres and went out for fast lap, but I could not find help from any other rider. I lapped alone, and this made it more difficult. Anyway, I was able to improve my time and then went back to my box. We did some adjustments. to the bike, then out again with just a few minutes to go. I was in a good group of riders - Dovizioso, De Puniet, Hayden - but Nicky fell down just in front of me. I had to brake to avoid him, lost time and, when I passed the finish line, they were already waiving the chequered flag”.

250cc:

Hiroshi Aoyama, Scot Racing Team 250cc: 2nd - 2m 00.777s.
“Let me thank my crew. They are helping me a lot and the bike is good. There are a few things that we would like to improve, but we cannot. Anyway, I'm quite happy. About tomorrow, and the race, I'm convinced we can do well. We know the track, and the bike has an excellent set-up. The problem is that, at this site, the weather condition can change suddenly. Who knows how it will be tomorrow?”

Hector Faubel, Valencia CF - Honda SAG: 5th - 2m 01.636s.
“The day has finished but it looks like it has only just begun. I cannot wait until tomorrow, since today was so short for me. Today I have felt confident with the motorcycle, although we had a small problem with the carburetion and I know that I am going to obtain good results. The margin of improvement still exists and is still very big and this gives me more motivation to continue working. I've done 45 minutes with the same tire and with the settings of the last test day going in the right direction. If we look at the past testing days, today it has been the best day since the beginning.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 12th - 2m 02.062s.
“Today the time was not very good. The wind was helping us in the straight, but at the corner entry it was unsettling for the bike. It has been the first day that we have done only one session of 45 minutes. Nonetheless, the adjustment has been good from the beginning. I continue having good feeling on the motorcycle and this is good. We will see tomorrow if the conditions will be good and this way to be able to lap with more confidence.”

Raffaele de Rosa, Scot Racing Team 250cc: 14th - 2m 02.408s.
“Having just a half day, on Friday, made it more complicated. We did a good job on the chassis. I'm not really worried, because we decided to work aiming at the race, and not the qualifying. Not everything is ok, but we improved almost everywhere. The engine is ok”.

Shoya Tomizawa, CIP Moto-GP250: 16th - 2m 03.590s.
“I'm fairly happy with the result as the track condition kept changing. We still have to work a little more on the set-up, because this time the front end wasn't quite right and I felt a little lack of grip on the rear, so I couldn't really push harder. But my overall feeling is that I can go faster. We did improve a little bit on the gear ratio. My confidence keeps growing on this racetrack, but I think I was a little slow for changing direction. Another thing I have to work on is learning how to follow faster riders to get a better lap time.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
5Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
6Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
8Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10Mika KALLIO (Pramac Racing)
11Marco MELANDRI (Hayate Racing Team)
12Toni ELIAS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
13James TOSELAND (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
14Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
15Sete GIBERNAU (Grupo Francisco Hernando)
16Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team)
17Yuki TAKAHASHI (Scot Racing Team MotoGP)
18Niccolo CANEPA (Pramac Racing)
 
250cc
1Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
2Hiroshi AOYAMA (Scot Racing Team 250cc)
3Mike DI MEGLIO (Mapfre Aspar Team 250cc)
4Hector BARBERA (Pepe World Team)
5Hector FAUBEL (Valencia CF - Honda SAG)
6Gabor TALMACSI (Balaton Racing Team 250cc)
7Mattia PASINI (Team Toth Aprilia)
8Alex DEBON (Aeropuerto-Castello-Blusens)
9Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
10Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
12Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
14Raffaele DE ROSA (Scot Racing Team 250cc)
16Shoya TOMIZAWA (CIP Moto - GP250)
21Bastien CHESAUX (Racing Team Germany)
 
125cc
1Julian SIMON (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
2Bradley SMITH (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
3Andrea IANNONE (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.)
4Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones Team)
5Sandro CORTESE (Ajo Interwetten)
6Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
7Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
8Pol ESPARGARO (Derbi Racing Team)
9Marc MARQUEZ (Red Bull KTM Motorsport)
10Jonas FOLGER (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.)
 
   

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