Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Nov 10, 2012

Pedrosa Breaks Track Record, Takes MotoGP Pole Position At Valencia (Updated)

Dani Pedrosa (26).
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Valencia, Spain
November 10, 2012
Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:30.844
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:31.195
3. Casey STONER, Australia (HONDA), 1:31.428
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:31.512
5. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:31.757
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:31.795
7. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:32.503
8. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:32.585
9. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:32.605
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), 1:32.834
11. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (DUCATI), 1:32.877
12. Randy DE PUNIET, France (Aprilia-Aspar/ART), 1:33.346
13. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), 1:33.442
14. Colin EDWARDS, USA (BMW-Forward/SUTER), 1:33.453
15. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda-Gresini/FTR), 1:33.971
16. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Japan (YAMAHA), 1:33.979
17. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (BMW-IODA/SUTER), 1:33.980
18. Ivan SILVA, Spain (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR), 1:34.407
19. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Aprilia-Speed Master/ART), 1:34.866
20. James ELLISON, UK (Aprilia-PBM/ART), 1:34.918
21. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (Kawasaki-BQR/FTR), 1:35.363
22. Claudio CORTI, Italy (INMOTEC), 1:36.531

More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Grand Prix of La comunidad Valenciana:
Fifth row for Czech MotoGP rider Karel Abraham

Czech MotoGP rider Karel Abraham finished thirteenth in today´s qualifying practice to Grand Prix of La comunidad Valenciana at Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Abraham will start from 5th row to the race. Karel did his best lap time 1:33,442 with 2,598 seconds gap to the fastest Dani Pedrosa.

Karel Abraham
"We expected better result after successful Friday practice session. I can´t say anything bad about the bike, we hadn´t any unexpected problem except the usual with rear tyre grip. I know where I am slower and I´ll try to stay focused on them tomorrow. Saturday turned sunny, but we don´t know what to expect on Sunday it has to rain probably."

Marco Grana, Cardion AB Motoracing chief mechanic
"žToday morning session was very difficult because of half and half conditions. Afternoon qualifying was the first session on dry and we expected to be on top after Friday. Unfortunately we had some problem with rear grip which limited us. Positive is that ideal time composed of best sector times is 0,4 second faster than our qualifying time. It´s good starting point for Sunday. We will try to change setup to find the rear grip and we must hope that the track will be dry like this afternoon. I think that we can find good way for bike and to be faster."

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Sensational pole position record for Dani, and front row start for Casey in Valencia GP

The Grand Prix of la Comunidad Valenciana will see Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa starting in pole position and Casey Stoner from third in a highly anticipated season finale.

Dani Pedrosa, the only rider who has won at Valencia in all three classes, set a new pole record on his last flying lap (1'30.844) beating Valentino Rossi's old record by 0.158 seconds (1'31.002) which Rossi recorded using qualifying tyres in 2006. Dani took his fifth pole of the season, while Casey Stoner joins him on the front row of the grid for the tenth race this year after setting a fast lap of 1'31.428.

It was a very busy qualifying session for the Repsol Honda Team, the only dry session so far this weekend, and Dani and Casey worked hard to find the best setup and test the new asphalt. Tyre choice will be key if the race is dry tomorrow, but at the moment the weather forecast still remains uncertain.

DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'30.844

"It was almost a perfect lap and I gave 100% because I knew I wouldn't be able to improve any more as the tyres were very good for the first lap and then the drop in grip was quite severe. I'm very happy with the pole position and the new record because Valentino's old record was done with qualifying tyres. We had only one dry session to test the new asphalt and we saw that the grip level is a little better but the tyres dropped down very quick. We still have to decide on the tyres for tomorrow because we have used only the soft compound, but it depends on the weather - if it rains we will need to take what we learned yesterday. I really would like to win here and finish the season with a good race".

CASEY STONER 3rd 1'31.428

"Qualifying didn't really go to plan, it was a pretty frustrating session. Due to the miserable weather this weekend, we had a lot of work to do in a very short space of time, we did make some good progress but unfortunately we couldn't find enough before the end of the session. There is a new surface here and we expected everything to be really good and smooth but in fact we've found there are a lot of bumps on the circuit. Now I'm thinking how we can improve the bike and get everything working a little easier. We need to adapt the electronics to allow me to be less restricted on this track so I can ride how I want to. Hopefully the weather is dry tomorrow and we can take that extra step in warm up".

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha MotoGP Team:

2012 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo took advantage of the only dry session of the weekend this afternoon to take second for tomorrow's season finale, the Grand prix of Valencia. The home hero was on suitable form in front of his Spanish crowd, fighting within the top three and looking promising for pole until relegated to second in the last minutes by Championship runner up Dani Pedrosa. Katsuyuki Nakasuga was taking it very carefully this afternoon following yesterday's FP1 crash, concentrating on bike set up over a hot lap and qualified in 16th position for tomorrow's race.

The morning's final free practice session was largely useless again for the riders with a wet but drying track giving them just 10 minutes of proper practice time at the end. As a result Lorenzo finished in sixth place 1.2 seconds from first whilst Nakasuga-san was back in 15th.

Jorge Lorenzo Position : 2nd Time: 1'31.195 Laps: 26

"It seems like it's going to be very close tomorrow. Dani is very strong here, not only in the dry but also in the wet and it seems it could be wet for the race. I tried my best for pole position with the last rear tyre but I didn't expect the lap time from Dani. Anyway, second place is good and the important thing is the race. Maybe the story will be different tomorrow."

Katsuyuki Nakasuga Position : 16th Time: 1'33.979 Laps: 26

"I have been focusing in the practices to get used to the bike again, work on the set up and also to understand the track conditions. My aim tomorrow is to do my best to try and achieve my result of last year and if possible to improve on it."

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"We are quite happy with the qualification, we managed second place and the lap times look like they will make a good battle tomorrow as the boys are pretty close together. I think the riders are enjoying the new tarmac but think everyone is struggling to make the rear tyre last the distance."

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director

"A good session for Jorge, the bike seems pretty balanced. His lap times are good, unfortunately he couldn't get pole but his pace is high. Nakasuga-san had some pressure on himself after yesterday's crash and he didn't want to make any mistakes. He was fairly happy with the bike set up but unfortunately struggled to deliver a top lap time. The weather looks like it's going to be wet tomorrow so we'll see what we can do but the prospects are good."

More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:


The third free practice and the qualifying session of the MotoGP class were held today, for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.

The riders from the top class had to deal with a partially wet track and with not much grip in the morning, and it was possible to take advantage of the last part of the session mostly. Rolfo and his mechanics dedicated the laps at disposal to some modifications for the rear part of the ART machine.

In the afternoon, some improvements for the setting were carried out and, with his crew, Roberto tried some possible options to make further progress in the third part of the track, where the Italian is struggling the most. With the time he set today, Rolfo will have to start from the seventh row of the grid tomorrow.

Roberto Rolfo #84 - 19th with 1'34.866
"I'm quite happy with how I rode in the qualifying practice, we managed to improve during the session. Honestly we had to struggle a little at the end of the session, I went back to change the front tyre and to pick one we had previously used and that I preferred. Such decision, however, didn't really help us to use at the best the time at disposal and some extra laps would have allowed us to make some further steps, as far as it concerns the grid position. The final result isn't really what we were hoping for, we have to work to achieve a better performance in the third part of the track, but for the rest our results aren't too bad. Generally speaking this was a positive session, we worked well and tomorrow we'll try to stay with the other CRT machines: on this circuit, with the new asphalt and all the braking, there may be some nice battles coming up."

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

Valencia, 10th November: last 2012 qualifying session was held today in dry conditions at Ricardo Tormo circuit with LCR racer Stefan Bradl strongly qualifying 5th (1'31.757) ahead tomorrow's 30-lap ultimate race of the season.

Mixed conditions welcomed the premier class riders in the final free practice this morning after yesterday's unfruitful opening day but the surface conditions gradually improved for the 60-minute afternoon session with the German rookie finally working on his RCV set up chasing rear improvements which could make the difference in his last performance of the year.

Stefan: "It was another good qualifying for us because since the beginning we have been very competitive. The situation out there was a bit tricky because we only lapped on soft tyres and after a couple of laps the rear started to drop and the grip was not enough. So our biggest problem right now remains the rear because it's not stable in the corner entries and we are now working on the electronic to solve the problem for the race. If the track conditions will remain the same like today we can be very strong but if it's going to be wet it will be a big gamble for everybody".

More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:


De Puniet almost half a second adrift of his team-mate and qualifies twelfth

The MotoGP World Championship may be decided for 2012 but for Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner there is still plenty at stake as they look to end the season on the top step of the podium. The Australian is desperate to win his last ever MotoGP race whilst the two Spaniards are vying for home glory, Lorenzo in particular keen to show just why he is World Champion. Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner were unsurprisingly the three riders who battled for pole today, finishing in that order in a front three that will seemingly take a miracle to break up tomorrow.

There is plenty of interest further down the field, however, not least in the battle for the first CRT 'title' in MotoGP history. Whatever happens it will be a POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider who takes the honour, Aleix Espargaró now in prime position to do so after out-qualifying his team-mate Randy De Puniet, whom he leads by eleven points. The Spaniard is tenth on the grid, the Frenchman twelfth, in what promises to be another exciting battle between the pair tomorrow.

10th Aleix Espargaró 1.32.834 (25 laps): "I am really happy today, that was a great session. We had next year's bike available so I wanted to try it. With this being the first session in the dry we had a lot of work to do with it, more than I thought, so halfway through the session I switched back to my normal bike. It was the right decision and I was able to set some fast times on my last run. We are the fastest CRT and hope to be so again tomorrow after such a fun and entertaining season. I have managed to be faster than my team-mate in the last four races but tomorrow is what counts so I will try to do the best I can."

12th Randy De Puniet 1.33.346 (27 laps): "We have had a very positive weekend so far. We are still fighting with my team-mate Aleix and hopefully tomorrow we can do it in the race. His lap time today was excellent but I was struggling for rear grip, which has been an issues since yesterday. We have made a few changes that haven't paid off as we hoped so this is something we need to improve tomorrow. It is the inly thing slowing us down right now so overall I am happy. If we resolve this we can have a good race in either wet or dry conditions because we found a good setting for the wet yesterday."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Pedrosa smashes record en route to Valencia pole

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Wet. Ambient 16-18°C; Track 17-20°C (Bridgestone measurement)
QP - Dry. Ambient 20-20°C; Track 27-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa smashed the existing pole position record by two-tenths of a second to claim the top slot on the grid for tomorrow's Valencia Grand Prix.

Pedrosa's qualifying time of 1'30.844 was the first lap in the 1'30 bracket ever recorded at the Valencia circuit as the rain finally cleared for qualifying allowing riders to test the grip levels of the new track surface in the dry. Second quickest in qualifying was newly-crowned World Champion Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha Factory Racing M1 with a time of 1'31.195, while rounding out the front row is Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner. Top CRT qualifier was Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro whose quick lap of 1'32.834 sees him line up in P10 for the race.

This morning's FP3 session took place on a damp but drying circuit and it wasn't until qualifying that the track was completely dry with a peak track temperature of 27°C recorded. All riders set their best lap time on the softer rear option, the medium compound asymmetric slick, while front tyre choice was predominantly the harder slick option as the riders preferred the greater cornering and breaking stability of this specification.

Morning Warm Up takes place at 0940 local time (GMT +1) tomorrow before the final race of the 2012 season starts at 1400.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

"After another rain-affected session this morning we finally had good track conditions for qualifying and a chance to assess tyre performance on the new track surface in the dry. The layout of this circuit requires good cornering stability and rear grip and this was reflected in the tyre choice today, with most riders preferring the softer rear slick combined with the harder front option. It was positive to see that even though track temperatures cooled down towards the end of the session riders could still post very fast lap-times on the harder front slick option. There is a chance of rain for tomorrow's race but if conditions are dry then slick tyre choice should be very similar to what we saw today."

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow and Dovizioso qualify in top six for season finale

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso will start the final round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship in Valencia from the second row of the grid after both impressed in a record-breaking qualifying session this afternoon.

Crutchlow came close to scoring an eighth front row start in his fantastic second MotoGP season when a best lap of 1.31.512s put him in fourth position. The 27-year-old was just 0.084s away from the top three.

The British rider was a second faster than Casey Stoner's 2008 lap record, with new asphalt helping lap times tumble in th e best conditions of the weekend so far.

This afternoon's session was the first to take place on a full dry track all weekend, giving Crutchlow and Dovizioso their first opportunity to properly assess improved grip levels on new asphalt at the Ricardo Tormo track.

Dovizioso will start from inside the top six for the 11th race of a campaign in which the Italian has become the most successful rider in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team's distinguished MotoGP history.

Dovizioso will bid for a seventh podium in tomorrow's race after a best lap of 1.31.795s secured him sixth place on the grid. Tomorrow's race will be Dovizioso's farewell appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and he is determined to end an outstanding 2012 campaign on a high.

Cal Crutchlow 4th 1.31.512 - 28 laps:

"It was another tough day with the weather because we pretty much lost another session this morning. The pace this afternoon was incredible considering it was the first dry session of the weekend and I was able to lap a second inside of the lap record. There is obviously good grip from the new surface but for me it is still very bumpy and I think even worse than last year. I'm pretty disappointed really not to be on the front row. I felt I should have been in the top three but I made a mistake and it was my fault. At least I was the fastest non-factory rider and I am pleased about that. It has been a brilliant second season for me and I really want to finish it strongly tomorrow with a good result. I'll certainly be giving it my maximum effort as always before we focus on 2013 with the test next week."

Andrea Dovizioso 6th 1.31.795 - 27 laps

"This afternoon was the first dry session of the weekend so far and in all honesty I struggled quite a lot with the wind. It is always difficult to set the bike up in those conditions, so I am reasonably happy to be on the second row and inside the top six again. I'm sure I could have been a little bit faster right at the end because on my fastest lap I came across Espargaro at the final corner and I lost a little bit of time. I am not sure what to expect tomorrow but it is going to very difficult to be in the battle for the podium. The top three are really fast but it looks like it could be a good battle for fourth. It is my last race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I am really determined to finish our great relationship with a positive result. It has been a fantastic experience and I want to get a good result to thank all my crew for their hard work and commitment this season."

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Difficult qualifying for Ducati Team at Valencia

Qualifying practice for the GP de la Comunitat Valenciana was particularly challenging for the Ducati Team. With just one hour of time"”the qualifying session itself"”on a completely dry track, Nicky Hayden found a setup with some positives, though he still had some difficulty turning.

Rossi also had problems with the front end, especially in bringing the hard front tyre up to temperature on the right side. The Italian had to use the soft tyre, which he doesn't think will be the ideal choice for tomorrow's race.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th (1:32.503)
"It's been strange with the weather this weekend. We had to basically go out in qualifying and spend some time to understand the new grip and also the bike, then try to get a good time. The bike was okay, but the front was pushing a lot, especially on corner entry, with the brake still on. The new pavement certainly helps the bike feel better, and I thought we could be closer to the guys at the front, but they went really fast today. I'm not too thrilled with how it went, but we have a couple of ideas to try in warm-up tomorrow. We'll see."

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:32.877)
"Today went pretty badly, and I'm sorry because we really hoped to do well in these last races. It's also true that Hayden, Barberá and Bautista aren't so far ahead, so tomorrow we'll certainly try to do a good start, to pass some people and make up some positions. Unfortunately, today I had some problems with the hard front tyre. I lost the front twice at mid-session because we're not able to get it up to temperature well on the right side. The race should be done with the hard, so we'll see what the temperature is tomorrow or if there's bad weather. If it were to rain, we would certainly be more competitive."

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

After a day that provided dry conditions for all three MotoGP™ classes, it was Repsol Honda Team's Dani Pedrosa who will start the last race of the season from pole position in the premier-class, after a terrific performance in qualifying for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.

Pedrosa set a new record at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, posting a lap clocked in at 1'30.844, with Yamaha Factory Racing's World Champion Lorenzo jumping up into second with a final push on his last lap. Repsol Honda's retiring Casey Stoner had looked like he was set to take pole for most of the session, but could not match the Spaniards at the end, also citing that he was not entirely happy with the new tarmac.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow finished as second best-placed Yamaha on the grid after posting the fourth fastest time in qualifying, giving him a good start in his bid for fifth place tomorrow. LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl put in a good showing on his satellite machine to place himself in the middle of the second row in fifth.

Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso, who will contest his last race for the Yamaha satellite outfit from sixth, could do his teammate a big favour by holing off some of the riders behind, although he will himself no doubt be gunning for the podium. Nicky Hayden qualified as best Ducati in seventh spot on the grid, after carrying out a big amount of set-up work throughout the session.

He will be joined on the third row by San Carlo Honda Gresini's Álvaro Bautista, who was once again struggling with front-end issues on his Showa-equipped Honda RC213V. Pramac Racing Team's Héctor Barberá completes the third row, as he signs off from his team this weekend with what will be classed as a good grid spot.

Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaró was the top CRT qualifier in tenth, which should help him in his quest to securing the CRT title tomorrow. Ducati Team's Valentino Rossi had a disappointing last qualifying session for the Italian outfit, as he finished down in 11th.

In related news, Lorenzo has won the BMW M Award for Best Qualifier of the 2012 season. With seven pole positions and a further seven front row starts, Lorenzo accumulated 361 points in the race for the Best Qualifier, 21 points ahead of Dani Pedrosa in second and 90 points ahead of Casey Stoner in third. Lorenzo takes home the grand prize of a brand new BMW M3 Competition Edition.


Tuenti Movil HP 40's Pol Espargaró took the honours for most pole positions in the Moto2™ class this season, with eight in total, at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, as Tom Lüthi and Takaaki Nakagami join him on the front row.

Espargaró was once again on blistering pace as he set the quickest time of 1.35'191, despite crashing out in the latter stages. Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol's Marc Márquez was in fact the second fastest man of the session, however his penalty for running into Simone Corsi yesterday means he will start last on the grid. Like his compatriot he also had a tumble after loosing the front, which he stated afterwards has been an issue in all sessions so far. Interwetten-Paddock's Lüthi upped his pace at the end to start second, and Italtrans Racing Team's Takaaki Nakagami was promoted to third to round out the front row.

Mapfre Aspar Team's local rider Nico Terol will be very pleased to start fourth in front of his home crowd, just ahead of teammate Jordi Torres. Technomag-CIP's Dominique Aegerter carried over his good form from the morning session to complete the second row, and will no doubt look to emulate his podium here from last year. Marc VDS Racing Team's Scott Redding will be disappointed with not being on the front row, yet the Brit will no doubt be on the pace come race-day, as he starts with Came IodaRacing Project's Corsi and Speed Master's Andrea Iannone alongside him. JiR Moto2's Johann Zarco completes the top ten.

Apart from Espargaró and Márquez, there were crashes for the Pons team's Axel Pons, as well as QMMF Racing's Elena Rosell. Fortunately, none of the riders were hurt in the crashes. Espargaró's pole position confirmed him today as the winner of the Tissot Pole of Poles trophy.


During the first fully dry session for the Moto3™ contingent in qualifying for the Gran Premio Generali de le Comunitat Valenciana it was Jonas Folger who charged to pole position in front of Miguel Oliveira and Luis Salom.

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 rider Jonas Folger secured his second pole position of the season in a busy qualifying session as the Moto3™ riders tried to make the most of the improved weather after free practice was marked by mixed conditions.

For the final race of the season, Estrella Galicia 0,0's Miguel Oliveira and RW Racing GP's Luis Salom will join the German rider on the front row, while the 2012 World Champion, Red Bull KTM Ajo's Sandro Cortese, will head the second row followed by Blusens Avintia's Maverick Viñales and JHK t-shirt Laglisse's Efrén Vázquez.

Cortese's teammate Danny Kent, San Carlo Gresini Moto3's Niccolò Antonelli and Racing Team Germany's Louis Rossi will form the third row of the grid, whilst Team Italia FMI's Alessandro Tonucci completes the top 10.

All eyes tomorrow will be on Viñales and Salom, as the pair battle it out for the championship runner-up spot. Salom goes into the race in a stronger points position and a higher grid spot than Viñales, however the Blusens rider won here last year, and could still pose a significant threat.
Top 5 This Week