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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 14: Aragon

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
September 29, 2012

Pedrosa Bounces Back To Second at Aragon

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) will start tomorrow’s Aragon Grand Prix from second on the grid after a brilliant comeback from a tumble during this afternoon’s qualifying session. MotoGP rookies Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) and Jonathan Rea (Repsol Honda RC213V) also performed superbly, going fifth and seventh fastest.

Dani PEDROSA(Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL(LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL
(LCR Honda MotoGP)

Conditions at Aragon have been very similar to what they were Misano a fortnight ago: a wet track for the first three practice sessions, then a dry track for qualifying. Set-up time has therefore been extremely limited, with Pedrosa, Bradl and Rea all falling back on the data they gathered here during a test session at Aragon earlier in the month.

Pedrosa – who celebrates his 27th birthday today – was second fastest after the first three practice sessions and went into this afternoon’s hour-long outing aiming to score his second consecutive pole position. But his hopes were dented when he took a heavy tumble after just five minutes, losing the front as he braked for turn 14. It was an unexpected crash because Pedrosa was not pushing hard. Only minutes later another rider crashed at exactly the same spot, suggesting that cold track temperatures and a slippery ‘green’ track surface were the culprits.

With both his bike and his leathers damaged, Pedrosa returned to the pits to change leathers and climb aboard his second machine. At first he focused on getting his confidence back and securing a reasonably fast lap time to put him well up on the grid. Once he had done that then he began to push to the limit in search of pole. With three minutes to go he did go fastest, but with just seconds to go Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) sneaked ahead to take pole with a slender 0.088s advantage.

Bradl was once again up with the leaders throughout, finally taking fifth spot, which means he will start the race in the middle of the second row between Yamaha Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso. Like most riders Bradl rode with soft front and rear slicks this afternoon, due to the low temperatures, even though he usually prefers the extra support of Bridgestone’s harder compound front tyre.

Rea also had good reason to be happy with his day’s work, especially considering the changeable conditions. The Ten Kate Honda World Superbike rider made his MotoGP debut at the rain-hit Misano GP – substituting for injured World Champion Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) – which means he has had very little dry track time on a MotoGP machine. Luckily he had joined Pedrosa and Bradl for testing here in preparation for Misano.

Rea is in his fourth weekend of five consecutive race weekends, alternating between his Honda CBR1000RR superbike and Stoner’s RC213V MotoGP machine. Last weekend he rode his CBR to second place in the second race at the Portimao World Superbike round.

Stoner’s much-anticipated return is scheduled to take place at the next MotoGP round in Japan on October 14, six weeks after he underwent surgery on his right ankle, injured during a nasty qualifying crash at the Indianapolis GP.

Bautista was the only RC213V rider not to take part in the Aragon tests, and that lack of dry track time today cost the Spaniard who ended up 12th fastest. Like many riders he struggled to find grip on the slippery surface and he wasn’t prepared to push over the limit and risk a crash.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) was happy enough with his progress to 15th position, which puts him third quickest in the CRT machine rankings.

Both Moto2 and Moto3 experienced similarly changeable conditions, with a complicated contrast between wet practice and dry qualifying. The ever-changing weather produced a surprise pole sitter in the Honda-powered Moto2 series – with Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR) taking his first pole in the class. The Italian bettered Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) in his final lap by less than two tenths of a second.

Delighted by his first Moto2 pole, the former 125 GP winner is determined to turn around his 2012 season tomorrow. So far this year his best results have been three fifth-place finishes at Catalunya, Silverstone and Brno

Espargaro’s ride to second place today may turn out to be crucial in his efforts to close the gap on Moto2 title leader Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter). Espargaro will be aiming to get away with the leaders tomorrow while Marquez has to fight his way through the pack after qualifying seventh, his worst grid position of the year.

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) took the last place on the front row after outpacing Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex) and others by a fraction of a second. As usual, the Moto2 grid is tightly packed with 1.2s covering the fastest 19 riders.

Marquez threw everything at getting closer to the front, his machine going wildly sideways as he exited the final turn at the very end of the session. The series leader will start the race from the third row, but he has proved on many occasions that he is more than capable of getting to the front, regardless of his position in the early laps.

Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) was Honda’s top qualifier in the Moto3 category, the Italian teenager clocking the fourth fastest time to put him at the head of the second row.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) will start the race from the other end of row two in sixth spot. The Spanish teenager currently lies second in the World Championship standings and needs a good result tomorrow if he is to keep series leader Sandro Cortese (KTM) in sight. Cortese qualified third fastest today, behind KTM riders Jonas Folger and Luis Salom.

Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was seventh quickest this afternoon and will start the race from the middle of the third row, alongside Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda).

Jonathan REA(Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Jonathan REA
(Repsol Honda Team)
Alvaro BAUTISTA(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)

MotoGP rider quotes

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – 1m 49.492s
“It's a very good result for us after all the issues we had! I'm really happy to be on the front row and so close to the pole position. After the crash I had at the beginning of the session – I guess due to cold tyres because I was not pushing at all – we only had one bike left with 50 minutes remaining. I lost some time there and when I went out with the second bike I realised that I had to remain calm because it was the only bike I had for the rest of qualifying and also the only front tyre. At the beginning, I was cautious trying to set a decent lap time and towards the end I just forgot about everything and pushed harder for the front row. We have a good position for the start, I just hope everything goes smoothly and we can have a great race tomorrow in front of the home Spanish crowd.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th – 1m 50.034s
“I am pretty satisfied about my qualifying because we lapped with a good pace from the beginning of the session. Unfortunately in one middle-session run I suffered a bit because of the front tyre: we were using the soft rubber the whole session but normally I prefer the hard one but in these cold conditions we thought the soft tyres were the best choice. At the end I was trying to put things together but it was not easy because the rear tyre dropped very fast so I was expecting to get one more position on the grid but P5 is good anyway.”
Jonathan Rea, Repsol Honda: 7th – 1m 50.410s
“It was the first dry session of the weekend. I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this weather! Towards the end of the session we started to get going and find our rhythm, the lap time was okay and I see a few areas where I can improve, but we are closing the gap; now just a second from the pole time which I'm pleased with. In general I'm really happy with the bike and with the set-up so hopefully tomorrow I can be closer to the front guys than I was in Misano. It looks like my last ride so I want to go out tomorrow and make every single lap count.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 12th – 1m 51.155s
“This afternoon was our only dry session so far and I didn't have a good feeling with the bike. I wasn't confident with the front and the rear was sliding around too much. We couldn't find a solution for qualifying and it was my worst qualifying of the season so far. Hopefully tomorrow with dry track and higher temperatures we can find the confidence to put in a good performance.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 15th – 1m 52.606s
“Finally we had a dry session this afternoon and even though the conditions weren't perfect I was able to get back the feeling for the bike that I had lost in the wet. Our pace is good and if we can close the gap a little more to the top two CRTs we can have a good race tomorrow. We need a little more traction from the rear because at the moment I am struggling to put the power to the ground but I think we can make improvements and be more competitive tomorrow.”

Moto2 rider quotes

Simone Corsi, Came Ioda Racing Project: pole position, 1m 54.343s
“I’m very happy with my first pole position in Moto2. During all the wet free practice I didn’t feel so comfortable on the bike, so I didn’t feel confident enough to push for a really fast time. But as soon as it dried out for qualifying I felt much better on the bike, so I was able to push hard. This has not been a very easy season for us, so pole position is a real boost for me and the team, and we hope to turn it into a good result tomorrow.”
Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: 2nd – 1m 54.534s
“Practice and qualifying were so difficult because conditions were different every time we went out. We started qualifying with a few different things to fix, then finally I was able to get into groove and get a good lap time. It’s very important to be close to the front here because the first corner can be very tricky, and it’s vital to be up there in the first few laps so you don’t lose the leading group. The bike felt good this afternoon but we can definitely make some more improvements for the race.”
Andrea Iannone, Speed Master – Speed Up: 3rd – 1m 54.618s
“It’s been a very difficult weekend so far because we had three wet or damp sessions and then everything changed for qualifying. When I first went out this afternoon the bike didn’t feel right to me, but after a while me and my team began to understand which direction we should take with the settings. My thanks to them, and we will be fighting for another podium tomorrow.”

Moto3 Rider Quotes

Romano Fenati, Team Italian FMI: 4th – 2m 02.202s
“I think we have worked well today, both on the track and in the pits. We are fourth on the grid, so we are starting from near the front, which is certainly a point in our favour. The bike is perfect and feels really good, so a big thanks to the team who did a great job. Tomorrow I will race for the podium. I want to have fun and be up with the leaders. I think it will be an exciting race.”
Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia: 6th – 2m 02.362s
“It was the first session that we had in the dry and it helped us to regain our feeling and prepare for tomorrow's race. Given that we were testing many things during the session, sixth place is not a bad position. I'm happy, because at the last race I started from 11th. Today we made a step forward. Starting from the second row, if I make a good start I know that it is easier to overtake here. I still need to improve the set-up of the bike, especially the chassis, so we know what we have to work on tomorrow in the warm-up. Hopefully I can give my all in the race, make the most of the twisty sections to establish a gap and make sure that I can’t be caught on the straights.”
Efren Vazquez, JHK T-Shirt Laglisse: 8th – 2m 02.461s
“We lacked a little bit this afternoon. I made a mistake under braking which lost me some time on my best lap. It’s a little problem that’s been troubling us all weekend. But considering how little dry track time we’ve had, the result isn’t so bad. Overall I think we’ve did a good job so far. If all goes well tomorrow and we can improve a few things on the bike, then I think we can do very well.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Round 14: Aragon Qualifying
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Jonathan REA (Repsol Honda Team)
8Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
9Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
10Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)
11Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
12Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
13Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
14Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
15Michele PIRRO (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
2Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
3Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
4Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)
5Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
6Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)
7Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
8Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
9Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
10Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
11Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
12Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
14Axel PONS (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
15Xavier SIMEON (Tech 3 Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
2Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
3Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
5Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
6Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens Avintia)
7Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
8Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
9Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
10Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
11Niccolò ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
12Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
13Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
14Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
15 Juan Francisco GUEVAR (Wild Wolf BST)

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