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2011 MotoGP Brno – Qualifying

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo put maximum effort into this afternoon’s qualifying session, delivering second place and a front row start ahead of Championship rival Casey Stoner for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Czech Republic. The reigning World Champion was one of the fastest riders for the duration of the session, benefiting from improvements to his set up with a more stable YZR-M1 allowing him to pressure the competition at the top. Lorenzo led the session for a brief time and at the end of the session had missed pole by just 0.113 seconds.

Ben Spies put in a superhuman effort to secure fourth and a second row start for tomorrow’s race despite suffering a numb arm from a trapped nerve which hampered his ability to brake and turn the bike. The Texan had been running as high as second, just 0.061 from first in the last 15 minutes but was unable to hold on to his front row start at the end. He will continue to work with Clinica Mobile this evening for more physio in advance of tomorrow’s race.

Whilst qualifying was dry, the riders endured a wet final free practice in the morning, giving them an opportunity to find a good wet set up should tomorrow’s race bring rain. Lorenzo dominated the session with his revised set up, finishing in second just 0.005 seconds from the front. Spies took it easy for the morning, saving his strength for the qualifying practice and finishing the final free session in tenth, 0.768 from first.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 2nd – Time 1.56.704 – Laps 25

“Yesterday things weren’t like we expected but we made some changes and improved braking to make the bike more stable. The lap time improved from that and we got a lot closer to Dani today and finished in front of Casey. The pace in the last laps was quite good so we’re happy. Big thanks to my team who worked hard to improve the bike. Tomorrow we aim for the podium or if it is possible to win the race.”

Ben Spies

Position 4th – Time 1.57.178 – Laps 23

“Today honestly went a lot better than expected, we’re at least in a good starting position for tomorrow. I’m not 100% confident about the race and what we can do but we’ve shown we’ve got the speed and the bike is good enough for top five. We’ll do the best we can, I’m not going to make any promises but I know I’ve got at least half a good race in me. If we get some good rest tonight then hopefully we’ll get lucky and catch a break and be good for it. We’re optimistic, the bike is working well and the speed is there, I just hope I can be there too. I need to say a big thank you to all the guys at Clinica Mobile who are working hard this weekend to keep me in the game.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“A very good qualifying, we’re happy with second place and we’re close to Pedrosa. The final result of the setting changes we made is also good which is what counts for the race. Of course we would have liked pole but there’s less pressure when you don’t have it! Jorge was very consistent in the 1’56s so a big improvement from yesterday and tyres are no problem for us. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“I think Ben did a good job today considering his condition this morning. Starting the race form second row is very helpful, now we have to see how his endurance is. We are working with Clinica Mobile to make it possible to ride; he has to do the rest by himself. He is happy with the bike set up and tyre choice so let’s see. Jorge did a great practice as usual, very impressive. His pace is very good so for sure tomorrow he will be there to fight for the win.”

Edwards and Crutchlow set sights on double top 10 in Brno

Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow are optimistic they can both fight for top 10 result in the 22-lap Czech Republic MotoGP race after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo impressed during this afternoon’s qualifying session at the Brno circuit.

Edwards will start from the middle of the third row in eighth position, the American brilliantly capitalising on a range of set-up modifications to his YZR-M1 machine to post a best time of 1.57.676.

The popular 37-year-old was able to run consistently inside the top 10 for the entire session, the set-up changes drastically improving front and rear grip to allow Edwards to qualify leading non-factory rider once again in 2011.

His best time was just over 0.3s away from the second row and the Texan is now confident he can challenge for his first ever top six finish at the Brno circuit in tomorrow’s race, which is the 11th round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship.

Crutchlow too demonstrated his encouraging speed in the early part of the session, the British rider reaping the benefits of major front-end set-up changes to give him more turning performance. Crutchlow, who was an impressive seventh quickest in a rain-affected final practice session this morning, was able to run inside the top three at one stage, as he worked on fine-tuning the race set-up of his YZR-M1 machine.

The 25-year-old seemed certain to challenge for a spot on the third row of the grid when a small mistake at Turn 10 resulted in an unfortunate crash with 12 minutes remaining.

Crutchlow sprinted back to the p its to jump on his second YZR-M1 bike, but he was unable to improve on his time of 1.57.797 and will start the race from 11th. The major front-end modifications though have boosted Crutchlow’s confidence in full race trim and he is aiming to battle for a top seven finish tomorrow.

* After carefully considering the findings of a detailed independent report commissioned by Dorna into the possible risk of radiation contamination in the area surrounding the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, Colin Edwards, Cal Crutchlow and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team can confirm that unless there is a change in circumstances, they will compete in the Japanese MotoGP race on October 2.

Colin Edwards

Position 8th – Time 1.57.676 – Laps 24

“I’m much happier today with the performance of the bike and I need to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew again for their incredible work. Yesterday I just wasn’t comfortable at all and had no feeling with the front or rear of the bike. I told my crew what I was feeling on the track and it is up to them to interpret that and try and improve the bike. And today they did an absolutely awesome job and I had a much better package. I went from feeling like I was riding on marbles yesterday to having a lot of traction today and I felt much more comfortable. We actually just threw in last year’s race set-up and even though I’m using a completely different chassis, it worked brilliantly, although I’m still 0.4s slower than last year. I’m not sure why that is. I’m not sure if the track lost some grip after the rain this morning because this afternoon in the dry my bike was so much better than yesterday, so I can’t really compare. Looking at the calibre of the guys in front of me and what they are riding, I think to be completely realistic, I wouldn’t be upset to finis h where I qualified.”

Cal Crutchlow

Position 11th – Time 1.57.797- Laps 21

“I’m happy on one hand because we made a big change to the bike to help it turn better and it was a really good step. But I’m a little disappointed on the other hand because I made a silly little mistake that probably cost me the chance to get on the third row. We were making some good progress with the new front set-up and I was faster in the first two splits than my previous best lap when I just ran in too hot at Turn 10. I should have just ran into the gravel but I tried to make the corner, squeezed the brake a bit harder and down I went. It’s one of those things when you’re pushing hard against this level of competition but I’ve felt much better on the bike here this weekend. My times have been consistently on the edge of the top six and I felt I could have probably qualified sixth or seventh. My race pac e has been strong so I’m just looking forward to having a good race tomorrow and picking up valuable points.”

2011 MotoGP Czech Republic

Brno 13/08/2011

1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’56.591
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’56.704
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’56.860
4 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’57.178
5 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’57.351
6 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’57.367
7 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’57.442
8 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’57.676
9 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’57.721
10 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’57.784
11 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’57.797
12 Toni Elias Honda ESP 1’58.245
13 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’58.273
14 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’58.274
15 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1’58.889

Circuit Length:



Lap Record:
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1/1/2009)

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Valentino Rossi, 8/16/2009)

Last Years Winner:
Jorge Lorenzo

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