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.
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.”
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 – Yamaha Factory Racing 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 – Yamaha Factory Racing 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.”
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.
Position 4th – Time: 1’31.512 – Laps 28
“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.”
Position 6th – Time 1.31.795 – Laps 27
“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.”
2012 MotoGP Spain
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’30.844
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’31.195
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’31.428
4 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’31.512
5 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’31.757
6 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 1’31.795
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’32.503
8 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’32.585
9 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’32.605
10 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’32.834
11 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’32.877
12 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’33.346
13 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’33.442
14 Colin Edwards Suter USA 1’33.453
15 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’33.971
16 Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha JPN 1’33.979
(Marco Melandri, 1/1/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Daniel Pedrosa, 11/11/2012)
Last Years Winner: