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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 17: Australia

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  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Australia
Australia
October 27, 2012

Stoner Takes Pole for His Phillip Island MotoGP Finale

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) will start from the pole position for his assault on a record sixth consecutive Australian Grand Prix win after rebounding from an early crash to set the fastest time on a cold and blustery day on his beloved Phillip Island Circuit. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa will join him on the front row after qualifying third.

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

Stoner was the leader almost from the start of the one-hour session, held in typically changing Phillip Island weather. And he was on top when he fell for the first time since his return to racing at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. Ironically, he fell on the entry of Honda Corner, a hairpin right, one of the few rights on the heavily left-biased track. Fortunately, Stoner was able to avoid the tumbling motorcycle in the gravel trap and did no further damage to his surgically repaired right ankle. That was evident when he bounded to his feet to return to his pit box.

After only a five minute respite he was out on his second bike. He would improve his lap time three more times, finishing with a best of 1m, 29.623s to capture his fifth pole position and first since the U.S. Grand Prix before the summer break. Stoner was then denied a chance to further lower his pole time when a light rain fell in the waning moments of qualifying.

Having earlier announced that he would be retiring at the end of his final campaign, Stoner is determined to go out with a victory in front of what promises to be a record crowd of his fellow countrymen.

Pedrosa was not able to challenge for the pole after encountering a few problems. First was that  he was not able to get heat into the hard rear tyre option. Then came the realisation that he had chosen the wrong motorcycle for his final charge at pole. On the last run he finally got feeling into his tyres and was able to set his best lap time.

Having won five of the past six races, Pedrosa goes into Sunday’s race hopeful of further cutting into the championship lead of Jorge Lorenzo, the Yamaha rider who qualified second.

  Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was also denied a faster lap time by the rain at the end of the hour that interrupted progress the team was making. In his first visit to Phillip Island on a MotoGP machine, the German had vastly improved from Friday’s practices and gaining confidence with every corner when the rain stopped his momentum. Now he will start the race from the middle of the second row in fifth place.

  Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified seventh on an eventful day. The Spaniard struck a sea gull in morning practice, with the bird getting the worst of it. Bautista continued on and continued to improve his time in qualifying, right up until the rain forced him to settle for seventh. Bautista will line up on the row three pole.

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) was 14th fastest this afternoon and the third fastest of the CRT machines. The Italian, who was racing a MotoGP machine for the first time at Phillip Island, is hopeful he and the team can find a solution in morning warm-up that will allow him to more effectively exit the corners.
  As it was last weekend in Malaysia, the weather here was constantly changing. But rather than tropical heat and showers, Phillip Island was plagued by a cold, howling wind, and intermittent cold showers. Rain affected every qualifying session, including Moto2.

Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Movil HP 40-Kalex) took the pole position as he tries to keep his slim championship hopes alive in the Honda-powered Moto2 class. Espargaro’s lap time of 1m, 33.705s came mid-session, before the rain began to fall. In the second half of the session no one challenged him and Espargaro had his seventh pole.

But that may not be enough to prevent fellow Spaniard Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) from winning his second world championship. Marquez, who qualified third, needs only two points in the final two races to add the Moto2 championship to his earlier 125cc world title. Wanting to take the title back to Spain, Marquez said he was going to be “calm” and stay out of trouble.

In between the title rivals came Brit Scot Redding on the Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex. Like Espargaro, Redding’s best time came prior to the rains. His time missed the mark of Espargaro by .559s, with Redding admitting that Espargaro would be difficult to beat.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock Suter)  leads off the second row in front of Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex), with Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland-Kalex) third. At the head of row three is Johan Zarco (JiR Moto2-Motobi). Alongside him are Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Speed Up) and Anthony West, the popular Australian rain wizard on the QMMF Racing Team-Speed Up machine.

Efren Vazquez (JHK t-shirt Lagisse-FTR Honda) qualified on the front row for the third time this season in Moto3. Vazquez was third fastest behind recently crowned world champion Sandro Cortese and Jonas Folger.

Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0,0-Suter Honda) starts on row two in sixth, with Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia-FTR Honda) eighth. The Spanish teen-ager had left the team in Sepang, but returned this week. Vinales apologised profusely for his behaviour and vowed to finish out the season.

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

MotoGP rider quotes

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Pole position – 1m 29.623s
“It's been a good progression over these past few races and it's great to get pole for my home grand prix. The bike has been good since Friday and I'm feeling comfortable on it again. It wasn't an easy session this afternoon. We went out on a hard tyre and on my out lap, as I was peeling into the Honda turn; the bike decided to flip me. I tried to make sure I kept my leg out of the way as I came off, fortunately it didn't get caught up. My left hip is hurting a little as I landed on it, but hopefully we shouldn't have any issues with it tomorrow. The bike feels pretty good for race pace. We would have liked to have done some more work in this afternoon's session, but we lost time after the crash. A big thanks to all the fans for coming out and putting up with this weather, hopefully we can turn this pole into a win tomorrow.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd – 1m 30.575s
“I was trying some different things on the bike to get a little more comfortable, but they didn't work out very well for the middle of the session. On my first soft rear tyre I couldn't improve and then on my last run I was going quicker on the first lap and rain arrived. Anyway, to be on the front row again is very good and I think we found a good bike setting for tomorrow's race. Casey (Stoner) is unreachable, he's on another level and doing an amazing job this weekend, but my pace is quite similar to Jorge's, (Lorenzo) so I hope to be at least constant for the fight with him.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th– 1m 030.798s
“We are very happy today because we did not expect the fifth place in qualifying after yesterday’s issues with the bike set-up. I was struggling too much with bike confidence, but we made some chassis adjustments finding a good solution for the afternoon session. After that I was finally back into my standard form lapping with more confidence and more average speed. Let’s see what is going on tomorrow but we are more prepared right now considering the particular layout of this track.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 7th – 1m 31.490s
“We continued to work on the setting of the bike this morning without making major improvements from yesterday. In the afternoon we did some laps on used tyres and the pace was decent. On new tyres we were able to go a little faster and we were hoping to make at least a position up on the last outing and get on the second row, but it started to rain and I had to settle for seventh place. Anyway, I am confident because my race pace is good and apart from (Casey) Stoner, who is on another planet, and maybe (Jorge) Lorenzo and (Dani) Pedrosa, who are also very fast, we can match the others and fight for fourth or fifth place again. The start will be important, then after that we'll see.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th – 1m 33.050s
“I think being the third fastest CRT bike today behind the two ARTs was about the best we could hope for today, although I am not totally happy because I was hoping to break into the 1’ 32s and even though we were close we didn't manage it. We still have some movement on the rear that we need to fix because it is slowing me down in corner exit. Anyway, I am confident that in the warm-up the guys will find some solutions and then I am sure in the race the tyres will play a huge role. I'm ready to defend my positions as the third highest CRT in the championship.”


Moto2 rider quotes

Pol Espargaro, Tuenti Movil HP 40-Kalex: pole position – 1m 33.705s
“This circuit is fun and I enjoy riding it, controlling and accelerating curves sliding the rear wheel. I was the fastest and the only one capable of finishing in 1m 33s, but I have a clearly difficult race and (Scott) Redding and (Marc) Marquez will be two tough opponents. What is clear is that we'll have fun and give 120% to get the 25 points at stake. I feel very comfortable on the bike, and am having a great end of season, and I would like to certify it with a win. I feel strong and I just hope the weather respects us and lets us win the race in the dry and the rain does not ruin the work done during training and in Malaysia on Sunday.”
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex: 2nd – 1m 34.264s
“In the beginning of the weekend I was struggling with the wind and the bumps. The team did a good job to get the bike sorted out and really happy with how it’s going. Pol’s (Espargaro) pace is pretty fast. I managed to match it this morning, but this afternoon he pulled the pin again, so just have to see how it goes in the race and try not to let him get away.”
Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: 3rd – 1m 34.408s
“We have to be realistic; the difference off pole is fairly large. We gradually improved our times and our setting, but Pol (Espargaro) is in great form. We are having difficulties finding our best setting and also missed the first session, so we are a little further back. We have the warm-up to go, with room for improvement. In the race we will try to get a good start in order to be as far up as possible.”


Moto3 Rider Quotes

Efren Vazquez, JHK t-Shirt Laglisse: 3rd – 1m 39.179s
“I am satisfied with the training. In the morning I had a fall, which fortunately has not had an impact, but we knew we had good pace and the timing with new tyres, we have taken those first laps to do a good time. Tomorrow I foresee a race in the pack, but (Sandro) Cortese has the pace to break away. The important thing will be the start and then we will see how the race develops.”
Miguel Oliveira, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 6th – 1m 39.262s
“Today was a difficult day, but in the end we were able to achieve our goal, which was to have the bike ready for the race tomorrow. The first session was a little quieter than qualifying, as in the afternoon it rained at the beginning and towards the end, affecting our times. Faced with this situation we decided to go out as soon as possible to make a quick time. Here we been working well and I am comfortable on the bike, so tomorrow I hope to make a good start and reach the front group, where I hope to be for the whole race.”
Maverick VINALES , Blusens Avintia: 8th – 1m 39.387s
“This was a difficult session because of the changing weather conditions. Eventually we qualified in a position a little far back, but this is a circuit where you can overtake well and a good first lap we can get into the top group. I think it's all very even, (Sandro) Cortese is a step ahead, but we will try to be there with him. I think I'm strong, but there are still some things to improve, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow. With so many straights, this track is difficult for us, but tomorrow we will try our best to make everything possible. I'm happy because I'm back riding and finding a good feeling on the bike.”
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Round 17: Australia Qualifying
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
2Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
4Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
5Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
8Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
9Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
10Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
11Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
12Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
13Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)
14Michele PIRRO (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
2Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3Marc MARQUEZ (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol)
4Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
5Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
6Randy KRUMMENACHER (GP Team Switzerland)
7Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
8Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
9Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
10Esteve RABAT (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
11Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
12Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
13Axel PONS (Tuenti Movil HP 40)
14Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
15Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
3Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
4Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
5Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
6Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
8Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens Avintia)
9Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
10Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
11Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)
12Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
13Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
15Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)

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