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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 16: Malaysia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
October 20, 2012

Pedrosa Second Quickest at Sepang, Stoner Close Fourth

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) will start tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix from second on the grid after coming within 0.194s of scoring pole position at tropically hot and humid Sepang this afternoon. Team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) was also in the fight for a front-row start today, finishing the session fourth fastest.

Dani PEDROSA(Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(Repsol Honda Team)
Casey Stoner(Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey Stoner,
(Repsol Honda Team)

Impressive Pedrosa is very much the man of the moment – having won four of the last five races, including the last two from second on the grid – and will be doing everything he can to score another victory tomorrow and further close the gap on World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) who will start from pole.

Pedrosa believes he may well have had the pace to be quickest today, but for a return of the tyre chatter issues that have dogged him at many circuits this season. The Spaniard had similar issues at Motegi last weekend, but his crew was able to largely resolve them in time for the race, which he dominated.

However, the chatter seems worse than ever here because of the nature of the Sepang circuit, which has always created this phenomenon. Pedrosa is not the only one suffering – all the fast riders have complained of chatter, a high-frequency vibration that can lead to a sudden loss of grip in the corners.

This is Stoner’s second race since returning from the nasty right ankle injury he sustained at August’s Indianapolis GP and he has done brilliantly to qualify less than half a second off pole. The injury was a major handicap in Japan last weekend, but is less so here, though it is still causing him problems, especially on the exit of right-handers because the ankle joint has only minimal movement. Stoner is also battling chatter and believes he would be significantly faster without the problem.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was another who complained of chatter, which hurt him most on new grippy tyres. The young German rookie worked with his crew to exorcise the problem, but ultimately had to do his best to ride around it.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified tenth after sliding off in the crucial late stages of qualifying when he was riding hard to get closer to the front of the grid. A superb third at Motegi, Bautista is lacking rear grip here.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) was 15th fastest this afternoon, putting him 15th overall and making him third fastest of the CRT machines. He too had issues with chatter.

The weather has been changeable here, with a tropical downpour hitting yesterday afternoon’s MotoGP session, though the Honda-powered Moto2 series has had the worst of the rain with FP2 and FP3 both run on a wet track.

Moto2 qualifying was dry, however, and dominated by Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Movil HP 40-Kalex) who was nearly half a second faster than anyone else. Winner of the recent Aragon Motor race, Espargaro has to win here if Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) is not to wrap up the title with two races remaining.

Marquez was third quickest today, still working to get his machine to his liking. The championship leader ended the session 0.167s behind second-fastest qualifier Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex) who predicts a tough race with a lot of wheelspin.

Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex) leads the second row, just ahead of Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2 – Motobi) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3). Motegi podium finisher Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) is at the head of row three, where he will be joined by Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) and Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR).

French Grand Prix winner Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) was top Honda-powered rider in Moto3 qualifying, the Frenchman ending the session a close fourth quickest, just 0.082s off the front row. This is Rossi’s best qualifying performance since he started the Catalan Grand Prix from the front row of the grid in June.

Rossi – who has received an engine upgrade from Honda – was followed by Spaniards Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) and Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) who were sixth and seventh aboard their Honda-powered FTR machines.

Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) will start from the third row, while Adrian Martin (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was tenth quickest to lead row four. Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini Moto3– FTR Honda) and Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI – FTR Honda) head row four after qualifying 12th and 13th.

Championship contender Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) took no part in the event, having left the paddock on Friday morning after a disagreement with his team.

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

MotoGP rider quotes

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – 2m 00.528s
“It was hard because we had a lot of chattering this afternoon and it was very difficult to get a clean lap as in some areas the bike was chattering too much, even on the straight! Nevertheless, we managed to get on the front row again and second position is good. The pace is high and after missing FP2 yesterday because of the mixed conditions, this morning we worked hard on the race pace. I just hope that we don’t have this chattering for the race. The weather can play an important role too, so we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow afternoon.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 4th – 2m 00.811s
“It’s been a really disappointing weekend, but especially today. We’ve had pace all weekend and the first session looked promising, but we’ve had problems with the brakes and some other small issues. Every step we take to try and improve the bike, we make it worse and it’s becoming very frustrating. Our potential is much higher than where we are currently at and now we go into the race without any real direction. Physically I’m not sure how I am going to be as we haven’t been able to complete many laps this weekend, our pace is there and I just hope that we can make some small improvements in tomorrow’s warm up.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 8th – 2m 01.491s
“Today’s qualifying was extremely tough for us because we did not improve our set up before the afternoon session. This morning we have tried to find the right way to reduce the chattering because I could not entry the corner and we are losing too much in the middle of the corner and we are struggling to find the solution because we never had such a big chatter issue in the past. In these conditions I do not have enough confidence and this cost me a lot of time that’s why I am too slow in those areas. In the beginning of the session on used tyres it looked like we were capable to reduce the chattering problem but as soon as we went out on new rubbers the problem was still there. The guys are working hard to adjust the bike ahead tomorrow’s race and I am confident”.
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 10th – 2m 01.640s
“This morning we tried to improve our feeling with the bike from yesterday but we only partly managed it. In the afternoon we continued to work in the same way, but rear traction was still an issue and the small progress we made wasn’t enough to improve our position before the crash. There were a lot of riders on track at the same time and nobody wanted to give anybody else a tow so we lost some time there and when I tried to push again the tyre temperature had dropped and I lost control. Luckily I wasn’t hurt, but the bike needs rebuilding and I am sorry to the team for the extra work. It will be a tough race tomorrow but I am confident that we have found some solutions today that should work.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 15th – 2m 04.152s
“We set a good lap time today and closed the gap to the top, but their pace was very strong. We are the third CRT behind the two Aprilias and now I am ready to give my maximum in a tough race. We still have some vibration problems that I am not comfortable with but if we can fix them then I am sure we can do well. It is important to be physically prepared here at Sepang because it’s such a long race but I feel fit and I’m determined to get a good result to dedicate it to Marco.”

Moto2 rider quotes

Pol Espargaro, Tuenti Movil HP 40-Kalex: pole position – 2m 06.962s
“We are in a difficult position now – we have to win to postpone Marc’s championship victory! Sure, the race will be difficult because it’s so hot here – trying to ride every lap here at 100 per cent is so difficult, but if we want to be the best then we have to do it, there’s no option! My thanks, as always, to the team who are working so well and doing such a great job with the Kalex guys.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex: 2nd – 2m 07.399s
“That wasn’t easy, because towards the end of the session the tyre was dropping off a bit and the track was getting a little bit greasy. You need everything to be perfect here because the track gets greasy and it’s bumpy too. My lap times were close, but at the end I didn’t go faster. I tried to chase someone in the distance, but it didn’t work, though I did do another fast lap on old tyres which was good. I’m pretty happy with the bike. It’s going to be a long race with the rear tyre spinning.”
Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: 3rd – 2m 07.566s
“It’s been quite difficult here, especially because we’ve had nearly two sessions in wet conditions. So far we haven’t been able to find the best set-up, so I’m not 100 per cent happy with bike. The team and Suter are working well and we still have warm-up to try some other ideas. Tomorrow we will see and we must also wait to see what the weather will bring.”

Moto3 Rider Quotes

Louis Rossi, Racing Team Germany: 4th – 2m 14.681s
“Today has been quite a good day for us. This morning I was quite strong – the new engine is really good and the adjustments we made to the suspension were correct. I rode alone this morning and made a good time, so I was confident for qualifying. We got fourth and that’s really nice. For some races our results were worse than they should’ve been, but since Aragon we’ve been back at a much better level. I’m starting to feel confident again.”
Miguel Oliveira, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 6th – 2m 15.316s
“It was a very difficult day for us, even though we have improved my lap times by more than one second since yesterday. The team has done a good job and I did my fastest lap all alone, which is very important in this category. In qualifying I had a little trouble finding the right feeling, but I think we can still improve several aspects of the bike during morning warm-up.”
Efren Vazquez, JHK t-Shirt Laglisse: 7th – 2m 15.366s
“Yesterday I was ill – I spent the whole afternoon in bed bad and I had a really bad night. This morning I did not want to force too much because I wanted to stay dehydrated and keep my energy for qualifying. Even so, I finished qualifying out of breath, so because of that I am quite happy with the final position. Tomorrow I think we can be in the front group. Now have to work with the team to see if we improve on a couple of points, but we have a good pace and we can have a good race.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Round 16: Malaysia Qualifying
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
5Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
7Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)
8Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
10Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
12Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
13Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
14Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
15Michele PIRRO (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
2Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3 Marc MARQUEZ (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol)
4Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
5Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
6Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
7Esteve RABAT (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
8Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
9Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
10Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
11Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
12Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
13Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
14Mike DI MEGLIO (Kiefer Racing)
15Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
2Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
3Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
4Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
5Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
8Brad BINDER (RW Racing GP)
9Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
10Adrian MARTIN (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
11Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
12Niccolò ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
13Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
14Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
15Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)

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