Moscow Raceway is twelve slow corners followed by a long, uphill straight with a thirteenth turn at the end. The last corner should be the scene of plenty of outbraking manoeuvres as the four cylinder bikes try to make up for sectors one and three, the Ducati friendly parts.
Unless of course it rains.
Up until the start of MotoGP qualifying, it looked like Dani Pedrosa had the race at Brno just about wrapped up. The media center joke was that they might as well start writing his name on the trophy, so much faster was the Repsol Honda man. And then he crashed in qualifying, and started going an awful lot slower, in a tale that has echoes of Casey Stoner's time at Ducati.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Brno:
Good qualifying session for Valentino Rossi, second row at Brno
Under a grey sky, with a constant threat of rain that never materialized during the sessions, Valentino Rossi made the second row, enjoying his best qualifying performance of the season so far.
In addition to posting the sixth-best time overall, the Italian has steadily improved his own performance over the course of the weekend, riding consistently and at a good pace in every session.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:
Early crash disturbs qualifying for Brad Binder
While his team mate Luis Salom was lapping the Brno circuit at full speed Brad Binder was limping around in the garage of RW Racing GP. An early crash, only five minutes into the qualifying practice, ruined the chances of the South African on a good result.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Moscow Raceway:
CHECA AND TEAM ALTHEA RACING CELEBRATE POLE POSITION TODAY AT THE MOSCOW RACEWAY; GIUGLIANO EIGHTH
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Brno:
In a session plagued by a red flag and rain, the top four didn't slow down.
Jules Cluzel leads Kenan Sofuoglu by three hundredths of a second, with Sam Lowes and Broc Parkes taking third and fourth.
These four riders have finished at the top all weekend, and with only a quarter of a second separating them, it would be a major upset if the podium doesn't comprise of most of them.
Results and summary of the qualifying practice at Brno for the MotoGP class:
Jorge Lorenzo has secured his fourth pole of the season, dominating qualifying and smashing the lap record in the process. Lorenzo took an early lead, beating the existing pole record in the first part of the session by just one thousandth of a second. With five minutes to go, Lorenzo then punched in an even faster lap, taking a third of a second off the pole record once again.
Results and summary of the qualifying practice for the Moto3 class at Brno:
Maverick Vinales will start from the front of the Moto3 grid for the fifth time this year, qualifying in pole position for Sunday's race at Brno. Vinales grabbed pole with plenty of time left in the session, his time going unmatched by the pursuing pack. Sandro Cortese fell just short, his final lap just three hundredths off the time set by Vinales, leaving the championship leader to start from 2nd, with Air Asia KTM rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin beside him on the front row in 3rd.
Moscow's first Superpole was a dry one. Qualifying tyres made more of a difference than usual and the new track threw up some surprises.
Superpole one gave us our first 1'34 lap as Tom Sykes showed an early indication of what a fast lap would be. Both Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty used a qualifier and guaranteed they would be in superpole two, but Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies relied on a race tyre and missed out, qualifying in 13th and 15th respectively.
Pol Espargaro has topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class, putting nearly quarter of a second between himself and 2nd place man Scott Redding. Dominique Aegerter nabbed 3rd, while championship leader Marc Marquez was forced to settle for 4th, nearly four tenths behind Espargaro's time. Thomas Luthi ended in 5th, fractionally slower than fellow Suter rider Marquez.
The mystery of where Cal Crutchlow will end up in 2013 has finally been settled. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team today announced that Crutchlow will return with the squad for next season, alongside current Tech 3 Moto2 rider Bradley Smith. Crutchlow has signed a one-year extension of his contract with the team, while Smith has inked a two-year deal with Herve Poncharal's team. Crutchlow and Smith will contest 2013 on board Tech 3's satellite Yamaha YZR M1s.
Dani Pedrosa has dominated the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Brno, setting a searing pace that left the rest of the field gasping for breath. Pedrosa was half a second quicker than the rest of the grid for most of practice, then posted a lap of 1'56.209 on his final lap, getting within a few hundredths of Valentino Rossi's pole lap record set in 2009.
Towards the end of the session, the timing sheet was topped by Tom Sykes, then Max Biaggi and finally Jonathan Rea, before Carlos Checa put in two fast laps to the flag, one a 1'38.098, less than three hundredths off his team mate Davide Giugliano's fastest lap of the weekend so far.
Giugliano also put in a late charge, but was unable to better the times of Biaggi and Rea, their best all weekend, but Rea has given his team some work fixing his Honda before Superpole, as he had an off, dodging his team mate Hiroshi Aoyama after his fast lap.