Marco Simoncelli is to receive a fitting tribute at Valencia on Sunday. Paolo Simoncelli, Marco's father, had asked for a minute of "casino" (an Italian word that translates as chaos or noise) instead of a minute of silence, but Marco is to get all this and a little more.
Result and summary of qualifying for the 125cc class at Valencia:
Danny Webb has taken the first pole of his career, and the first ever pole for Mahindra, in a tense and thrilling qualifying battle in difficult conditions. A shower of rain before qualifying started made the track very treacherous, the surface changing as it dried out throughout the session.
The track at Valencia is dry (or almost dry) for the first time this weekend), and the difference it makes on the track is immediate. Lap times have tumbled, though the few damp patches still on the track are just enough of a nuisance to take a couple of seconds off the best time. Johann Zarco was the fastest man in the third session of free practice for the 125cc class, ending the session with a comfortable lead over RW Racing's Luis Salom. Salom was, in turn, just a fraction ahead of Efren Vazquez and Nico Terol, Terol finding his feet again after struggling in the wet on Friday.
Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams on Friday at Valencia, including an explanation from the Gresini team of the logon on the fairings on their Moto2 bikes:
Salom stays upright in the rain
On the slippery Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia many 125cc riders crashed out in the free practice sessions. Luis Salom was determined not to appear on the list of crashers this time. The Spanish rider for RW Racing GP kept his promise to himself and the team and set a respectable fifth fastest time.
Sandro Cortese has topped a very wet second session of free practice for the 125cc class at Valencia, the only rider to lap under the 2 minute mark in the rain. Harry Stafford was an impressive second, nine tenths behind Cortese, and a few hundredths ahead of Johann Zarco. Championship leader Nico Terol was once again very cautious, ending the session in 12th and over two seconds behind Cortese. With rain forecast for Sunday, Terol will have to go one better and finish in 11th if he is to wrap up the 2011 125cc Championship.
Sandro Cortese led the way on the first session of free practice for the 125cc class, holding off Johann Zarco by the narrowest of margins on a damp and extremely treacherous track. Adrian Martin set the 3rd fastest time, ahead of Efren Vazquez and Marcel Schrotter, while championship leader Nico Terol put in a cautious 10th fastest time, a wise consideration given the number of crashes that happened during the session.
Even as Paris Hilton jets her way across the Atlantic to attend the final race of the Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing 125 team she lends her name to, there appears to be trouble brewing for the American socialite.
Results and summary of the 125cc race at Sepang:
Maverick Vinales has won a tense and draining battle at Sepang to take victory ahead of Sandro Cortese and Johann Zarco. Zarco's podium, finishing ahead of Nico Terol, means the championship fight will go down to the wire, with Terol leading by 20 points.