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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 12: Czech Republic

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Czech Republic
Czech Republic
August 25, 2012

Pedrosa Bounces Back for Front-Row Start at Brno

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) bounced back from a tumble at Brno this afternoon to qualify on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)

The Spaniard had led all three free practice sessions, only to interrupt his impressive rhythm when he slid off at turn nine ten minutes into qualifying. With only his second bike available for the remainder of the session, Pedrosa struggled with chatter issues, so it was not until the last moment that he could find the pace to make the front row. He went third fastest on his final lap, and it was a close run thing – his best lap time just 0.004s faster than the best time set by Ben Spies (Yamaha). Pole position went to Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Pedrosa is on something of a charge at the moment. After receiving an upgraded RC213V at last month’s United States GP he won his second victory of the year at Indianapolis last Sunday to close to within 18 points of current leader Lorenzo. So far this year he has scored ten podium finishes from 11 races.

Pedrosa is flying the Repsol Honda flag all alone this weekend after team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) withdrew from the event following the advice of his Australian surgeon. Stoner injured his right ankle when he crashed during qualifying for last weekend’s Indianapolis GP. He bravely decided to race with the injury and finished a heroic fourth, but subsequent examination of x-rays and MRI scans showed that the injury was worse than first thought.

On Thursday the reigning World Champion was told that he risked causing permanent damage if he continued racing with the injury. Therefore he flew home to Australia on the same day and is expected to undergo surgery on the right ankle – which suffered complicated ligament, cartilage and bone damage – within the next few days, once the swelling has subsided.

MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was seventh quickest today, missing a second-row start by just 0.092s. The German youngster has been struggling with front-end feel, a major issue at Brno which features so many downhill corner entries.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) was fast and consistent in practice but was not quite able to raise his game in qualifying. He ended the session eighth fastest to put himself in the middle of the third row between Bradl and local Karel Abraham (Ducati).

The Spaniard’s team-mate Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) had a fraught session, during which he had to abandon his number one bike out on the track after its engine burst into flames. The Italian ended up 14th quickest.

In Moto2, Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) scored his third consecutive pole, putting himself in the best position possible to take some points away from series leader Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) who could only manage fourth quickest.

Espargaro lies 39 points behind Marquez with seven races remaining, so his title hopes are a long shot at best, but anyway he will be keen to add to his victory tally. Tomorrow Espargaro will be joined on the front row by Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) and Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex).

Marquez has scored front-row starts at all but two of this year’s GPs. He will start tomorrow’s race from second row alongside Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR) and Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) who slid off in the early stages of the session, bringing out the red flags.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) scored his fifth pole position of the year in the Moto3 class, outpacing title rival Sandro Cortese (KTM). During his final lap Cortese came very close to dislodging Vinales from pole but failed by just 0.033s. Vinales currently trails Cortese by 29 points after sliding off on the final lap of last weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix. Vinales says his only tactic for the remaining races is to go for the win every time in an effort to close the points gap.

Teenage rookie Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda) was the next best Honda rider in fourth place, the 16-year-old missing the front row by less than two tenths of a second.

Local star Jakub Kornfeil (Thomas Sabo GP Team – Honda) was seventh quickest, putting himself at the top of the third row. The 19-year-old Czech bettered eighth-placed Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) by two tenths.

Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL
(LCR Honda MotoGP)
Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)

MotoGP rider quotes

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd – 1m 56.327s
“I had a small crash at the beginning of the session and unfortunately we were unable to use that bike anymore and had to switch to the second bike. Normally the bikes are very similar, and I don't know why, but this time the second bike was much more rigid and I had more chatter, especially in the front. We tried to fix it but we weren't able to so in the end I tried to get my best out of it and finally on the last lap I was able to take a front row spot, which is always important. Anyway the bike is working well, I just hope tomorrow we can use our preferred bike, as this morning it felt very good, and have a good race.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 7th – 1m 56.827s
“Well... It was a difficult qualifying because we made a lot of changes from the morning session to the afternoon and we were expecting more improvements, but unfortunately the adjustments did not work properly. We are still struggling with front-end feeling in corner entry. We tried to fix the chattering problems during qualifying and at the end I could find a better feeling but we are still missing something. The bike potential is better than this and I need to be sharper in corner entry because there are many downhill braking areas.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 8th – 1m 57.068s
“We have definitely improved the feeling with the front end of the bike and we set a good pace in race trim at the start of the session. We made a little change to the rear, but we switched back to the original configuration because I didn't like it. Unfortunately I couldn't improve on the pace I set over the opening laps and I'm not happy about that but I am confident for the race because my feeling with the bike isn't bad and if I can make a good start we can have a good race like Indianapolis.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th – 1m 59.387s
“That was just what I didn't need! I suddenly felt a burning sensation on my leg and tried to get off the bike as quickly as possible. It is incredible really and a big shame because I am sure I could have improved my lap time and grid position. I hope this latest setback is the last bit of bad luck we have this season.”

Moto2 rider quotes

Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: pole position, 2m 01.953s
“Last Sunday’s race was a bit of a disaster for us – after getting pole we finished second and gave another five points to Marc. Yesterday I didn’t feel 100 per cent with the bike, but the team made some changes and the bike seemed perfect today, soI was able to ride with incredible confidence. I want to say thanks to my team who are doing an incredible job with the Kalex.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten-Paddock-Suter: 2nd – 2m 02.235s
“We have been setting a good pace here this weekend, so I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. For sure it’s going to be a close battle, like always in Moto2, but so long as the conditions are like today, then I think we should be competitive in the race.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex: 3rd – 2m 02.239s
“I usually struggle a bit at Brno. But coming here from Indy I was thinking how I could improve at this track. We’ve struggled with some chatter, but overall I’m pretty happy because the bike seems to be working well. The good thing for me is that there’s no slow corners followed by long straights here. I’m looking forward to the race and hoping to be close to the front.”

Moto3 Rider Quotes

Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: pole, 2m 08.075s
“I am very happy because I took pole without relying on slipstreams and I have a good pace. Brno has a lot of straights and it is hard to take pole riding solo. We are where we need to be now, working hard, and we have to forget about the crash at Indianapolis. We have found a very good setting and the feeling is good. We have the chassis working well, which is very important. Tomorrow is going to be a thrilling race, but I’m sure that we will be fighting for the win.”
Niccolo Antonelli, San Carlo Gresini Moto3 – FTR Honda: 4th, 2m 08.660s
“I’m very happy with fourth place. Maybe I could have made it onto the first row, but at the moment I’m satisfied because I’ve got a good feeling with the bike and the confidence to ride a good race tomorrow. The team will have a few ideas for a couple of small settings changes which should improve the bike. Then it will be up to me to make a good start, be fully determined and get a positive result.”
Jakub Kornfeil, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta – FTR Honda: 7th, 2m 09.019s
“Seventh isn’t so bad, it’s my best Moto3 qualifying position so far, so I should be happy. The bike is working pretty well, so it will be another interesting race and I will be doing my best to get a good result for my team and all the Czech fans.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Round 12: Czech Republic Qualifying
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
3Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
4Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
7Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
8Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
9Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
10Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
11Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
12Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)
13Toni ELIAS (Pramac Racing Team)
14Michele PIRRO (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
2Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
3Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
4Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
5Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
6Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
7Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
8Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
9Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
10Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
11Axel PONS (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
12Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
14Mike DI MEGLIO (MZ Racing)
15Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens Avintia)
2Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
4Niccolò ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
5Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
7Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
8Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
9Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
11Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
12Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
13Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
14Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
15Adrian MARTIN (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)

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