MotoGPCzech RepublicAugust 13, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 11
Czech Grand Prix, Brno Qualifying

Pedrosa Wins Brno Pole, Stoner a Close Third

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) ruled qualifying at Brno today, the Spaniard out-pacing his rivals to take pole position for tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix, the first event following MotoGP’s brief midseason break. Pedrosa narrowly defeated reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), with current championship leader Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) a close third fastest.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) Dani PEDROSA(L) & Casey STONER(R) (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA(L) & Casey STONER(R) (Repsol Honda Team)

Overnight rain and a further downpour this morning changed the track’s grip characteristics, with the result that the front-running pace was a few tenths slower than it was yesterday. More rain followed qualifying and forecasts suggest that rain could affect at least some of tomorrow’s races.

Pedrosa – who used the post-US GP break to rest, reenergise and further recover from the collarbone injury he sustained at May’s French GP – led both yesterday’s sessions, his RC212V immediately working well around this fast, challenging racetrack. Following this morning’s rain-hit session he was once again in sparkling form for this afternoon’s qualifier, run in fully dry conditions.

His main rivals for pole were Stoner and Lorenzo, who both took their turns out front, but finally Pedrosa prevailed, bettering his compatriot with eight minutes to go. He ended the one-hour outing 0.133s in front of Lorenzo. This was his first pole of 2012 and his 18th in MotoGP. Pedrosa currently lies fourth on points after winning the Portuguese and German GPs, but no-scoring at three other races, due to his shoulder injury.

Stoner wasn’t completely happy after recording third-fastest time, 0.269s down on his Repsol Honda team-mate. The Australian, whose confidence may have been slightly dented by a high-speed tumble in the morning rain, had some grip worries yesterday, then ran into some chatter issues in the dry today. He knows he has work to do to improve his RC212V for tomorrow morning’s warm-up session.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was fifth fastest, just behind Ben Spies (Yamaha) and just ahead of Valentino Rossi (Ducati), who scored his best qualifying result of the year. During yesterday’s free practice sessions Simoncelli was a close third fastest behind Pedrosa and Stoner, so it’s likely his team will take a step backwards with their machine settings for the race.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) will lead the third row tomorrow after qualifying in seventh position, less than one tenth of a second off the second row. Yesterday the Italian struggled on corner entry, due to set-up issues with his RCV’s engine-braking system, so today he returned to settings used earlier in the season. However, he still needs to improve entry performance for the race.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) achieved his best grid slot since May’s Spanish GP by taking tenth fastest time, just over a second off pole.

There was good news also for Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) who had his best qualifying outing of the year. The reigning Moto2 World Champion was 12th quickest and enjoying his RC212V at a circuit that gives riders the room to fully exploit their motorcycles’ performance.

Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) continued his amazing progress in Moto2, the Spanish teenage rookie recording his third successive pole position. Tomorrow he will aim to score a fourth consecutive race win as he works at catching runaway championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex) who leads the series by 47 points. Bradl dominated the early stages of the championship with four wins from the first six races. Now, however, Marquez appears to be on dominant form.

Bradl led most of the session until he was overhauled by Marquez in the final five minutes. The German fought back to better his rival by 0.036s seconds, but a brilliant last lap put Marquez back on top by 0.211s.

Alex De Angelis (JIR Moto2-Motobi) grabbed third place with an impressive late charge that won him the last spot on the front row, at the cost of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter) who will now lead row two. Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter) returned to form with a great ride to fifth fastest, easily his best qualifying performance of the season. Iannone will be going for his first podium finish since he won the Spanish GP at Jerez. Last man on the second row is Aleix Espargaro (Pons HP40-Pons Kalex). Row three is led by Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR).

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda RC212V: Pole position – 1m 56.591s
“It’s my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I’m very happy for that. The weekend has been pretty good for us so far, the bike is working well and I’m feeling good physically as well. We made only a few small changes on the bike and this allowed me to concentrate more on my riding, so let’s hope we are able to keep the pace tomorrow and fight for a good result. This is the most important thing and we need to keep our feet on the ground because the rivals are close. I think we can still improve the bike a little, especially on the chassis side to have better grip, even though I guess that the rain this morning affected the conditions on track which made it more slippery.”

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 3rd – 1m 56.860s
“We hoped after yesterday that we could improve the feeling in the bike this morning, but unfortunately it was a wet session, so we couldn’t use it as we would have liked to. Also, the session didn’t start too well with a fast crash in turn three, which lost us some time and obviously dented my confidence a little. Then this afternoon we started to get a little more feedback from the bike, but all in all we didn’t really make a big step forward or improve it significantly from yesterday’s first session. We seem to be getting more and more chatter as the weekend progresses and the more I push the more it increases and the slower I get, so it’s a little frustrating. I felt qualifying could have been better, we almost lapped with the same time on old and new tyres, but in general we have a lot of work to do. We’re obviously happy with front row, but we’re not really where we want to be with the bike and there is still a lot of work to do. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and I’m sure we can find some improvements in time for the race.”

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 5th – 1m 57.351s
“I am a little disappointed because we have gone slower than yesterday and not made the improvements we hoped for. Obviously the conditions didn’t help because with the rain this morning the track surface was not in the best shape. Other riders have clearly struggled with it too but it seemed to particularly affect us. Now we need to look at why that was and try to put things right for tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 7th – 1m 57.442s
“After having struggled yesterday with the engine-brake set-up, today we went back to the old specification that we used up until the Italian Grand Prix. The rainfall from last night and this morning affected the track surface and this afternoon there was less grip and the references changed compared to yesterday. We will continue working, in particular on the front, because under braking we are on the limit. I also need to ride with more fluidity. We will keep on working also in the warm-up to improve for the race. The pace is not so bad and it’s not impossible to fight for the podium. The race will be hard, with many battles so it will be important to make a good start.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 10th – 1m 57.784s
“After the rain this morning we worked well this afternoon to find a decent set-up. I am satisfied because tenth place is a good position for us at the moment, especially because the gap to the riders at the front is smaller. We will try and make a few small changes in the morning that give us a little more pace in some sections. Overall I am happy and hopeful of a good race for me and the team, who have worked so hard.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 12th – 1m 58.245s
“Obviously I am satisfied because this is my best position on the grid so far this year and with the small improvements we have obtained yesterday I could ride the bike with more confidence especially on the front. I had some more things to try this morning but the bad weather interrupted my plan. Anyway, we have already taken our decision about the front and rear tyres for tomorrow’s race and we just need to fine-tune the bike to confirm our overall package. These small adjustments make me confident for Monday’s test session as well.”


Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: Pole position – 2m 02.493s
“I don’t know why but we’ve had a lot of problems finding a better set-up this weekend. In yesterday’s first session we were only 18th fastest, but step by step we made the bike better and in the end we were able to arrive at the level of Bradl and De Angelis. I’m happy that we were able to overcome our problems and I must say thanks to my team. Now we will see what happens with the weather tomorrow – wet or dry, I am ready to ride a good race.”

Stefan Bradl, Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex: 2nd – 2m 02.704s
“For most of this afternoon our lap time wasn’t so bad and our pace was competitive. But towards the end of the qualifying session we had a problem with the front that was costing me two or three tenths a lap, so we need to check what’s going on and have a look at our data. I’m not so happy because of this problem. We will have to work hard tonight to fix it. Anyway, being on the front row is important and I think there will be a big battle tomorrow.”

Alex De Angelis, JIR Moto2-Motobi: 3rd – 2m 02.725s
“We have a very good set-up, so I can ride very well here. The bike seems perfect, though our engine is not so fast. It is very important to start from the front row so that we can get away with the front group. I think we have got our tyres working well, which means I am sure we can fight to the end of the race for an important result.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 11
Czech Grand Prix, Brno Qualifying
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
6 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
8 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
9 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12 Toni ELIAS (LCR Honda MotoGP)
13 Hector BARBERA (Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP)
14 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
15 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
16 Loris CAPIROSSI (Pramac Racing Team)
17 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
- John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
3 Alex DE ANGELIS (JIR Moto2)
4 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
5 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
6 Aleix ESPARGARO (Pons HP 40)
7 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
8 Mattia PASINI (Ioda Racing Project)
9 Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)
10 Randy KRUMMENACHER (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing)
1 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
2 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
3 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
4 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
5 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
7 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
8 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia Banca Civica)
9 Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
10 Simone GROTZKYJ (Phonica Racing)

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