MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) splashed to his fourth pole of the season with a dramatic fast lap in the seconds after the one hour qualifying session for Sunday’s German Grand Prix had ended. Yamaha rider Ben Spies was second with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa a close third.
The session was one of the most dramatic of the season, especially for Stoner. Before the hour was half over he had suffered an electrical failure that cut the engine spark on his number one motorcycle. That sent him to the pits for an extended stay while the rain intensified. At the time, Bavarian Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) was on top, giving the home fans a thrill.
The rain lightened in the final ten minutes and the riders headed back onto the 3.671Km track to reshuffle the order. Bradl lost the top spot with under nine minutes to run in what would be a flurry of changes. By the end of the qualifying hour the fast time had been lowered 11 times, by seven different riders, with Bradl setting fast time on three occasions and Stoner doing it once.
When the hour ended Stoner was on top, but would not be for long. About 15 seconds after the checkered flag was waved, the lead went to Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), but he did not own it. In the next 17.5s the lead would change three more times; first Pedrosa, then Spies, and finally Stoner, who earned his second pole in a row and 39th MotoGP of his career with his lap of 1m, 31.796s.
Stoner will start Sunday’s eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship tied on points with Lorenzo.
Pedrosa will join Stoner on the front row, having qualified only .285s slower.
Bradl finished the session sixth fastest, at the end of row two for his first home MotoGP race.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified with the 11th fastest time, though it meant little. Bautista was involved in a first corner incident with Lorenzo last week in Assen. Race Direction’s penalty is that he has to start from the back of the 21 rider grid.
Team-mate Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR Honda) will start the German Grand Prix in the 17th position. Pirro crashed in the heaviest rain, forcing him to the pits for his second bike. In the more moderate end of session weather, Pirro continuously improved his pace until setting his best lap on his 18th and final lap.
Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Kalex) took advantage of the improving conditions to take his sixth pole in eight races, an advantage that could pay dividends on Sunday since his championship rivals were further downfield.
The 45-minute session had been dominated by a number of riders, but not Marquez. It was only in the final minute, when the rain had mostly stopped and the puddles had dispersed, that Marquez leapt to the top.
His lap of 1m, 34.503s was fastest of the day by only .045s over Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter). Simon had taken over the top spot in the 40th minute, then watched as Marquez dropped him to second.
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Suter) took the third spot from Belgian Xavier Simeon (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) after time had expired. Both Simon and Kallio will be starting from the front row for the first time this year. Simon’s previous best was seventh in the Portuguese Grand Prix, while Kallio’s was fifth in Jerez.
Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up), second in the championship, qualified tenth, four spots behind Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock – Suter). Former championship leader Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) qualified a season worst 17th-he had not been lower than fifth-and 1.473s from Marquez.
Adrian Martin (JHK Laglisse – FTR Honda) qualified on the front row for the first time by clocking the third fastest lap in the wet Moto3 race. The Spaniard had never qualified higher than seventh prior to today’s qualifying, but he took to the wet with ease. The time came on the 11th of 16th laps to move him just ahead of fellow Honda rider Jack Miller (Carretta Technology – Honda). Jakub Kornfeil (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta – FTR Honda) was a close third. The three fastest Honda Moto3 riders were separated by only .096s.
Moto3 World Championship leader Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) had his least successful qualifying effort of the season. The four-time Moto3 race winner had never qualified lower than ninth before this weekend. But Vinales was never comfortable in the rain and only managed the 24th fastest time with his 24th and final lap. Vinales ended up one spot in front of his brother Isaac, who was 25th on the Ongetta-Centro Seta – FTR Honda.
|1||Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|3||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|4||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|5||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|6||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|7||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|9||Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)|
|10||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|11||Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|12||Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)|
|13||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|14||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|15||Mattia PASINI (Speed Master)|
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)|
|2||Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)|
|3||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|4||Xavier SIMEON (Tech 3 Racing)|
|5||Gino REA (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|6||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)|
|7||Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)|
|8||Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|9||Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)|
|10||Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)|
|11||Yuki TAKAHASHI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|12||Ricard CARDUS (Arguiñano Racing Team)|
|13||Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|14||Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)|
|15||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)|
|1||Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Adrian MARTIN (JHK Laglisse)|
|4||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology)|
|5||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|6||Brad BINDER (RW Racing GP)|
|7||Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)|
|8||Jonas FOLGER (IodaRacing Project)|
|9||Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)|
|10||Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)|
|11||Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)|
|12||Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|13||Alberto MONCAYO (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|14||Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK Laglisse)|
|15||Toni FINSTERBUSCH (Cresto Guide MZ Racing)|