With the World Supersport race being potentially cancelled due to the wet conditions, after sending the sweepers and a track heater (a tractor with a fan heater on the back) round the track, the race was eventually started as a wet race.
World Superbikes at Monza requires more considerations for safety than other tracks because of the three 300kmh sections. Weather plays a huge factor in safety but conditions in the Superstock 1000 race hinted at a good day of racing.
Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Rain ended race one after only three laps and got progressively worse forcing cancellation of the restart.
Casey Stoner led by at least a second for much of the session, and ended with a time faster than he set for pole. The warm up was suspended for a few minutes after a big highside for Ivan Silva, who was taken to the medical center for further examination. He was conscious after the crash, and moved away under his own power.
The rain, which has been chasing motorcycle races around this season, finally got bored and moved off on Saturday, giving the track at Estoril a chance to dry. The final corner, which proved so treacherous on Friday, was greatly improved - and made even better by the addition of a cone on the inside of Turn 13, marking where the wet patches were so the riders could take a line inside them. But the wet patches were still there, with water apparently seeping up from the ground to be sucked to the surface.
With the combination of mixed conditions and a naturally fast track causing wet tyres to discard chunks of rubber down the 330kmh straight, qualifying at Monza was destined to be unpredictable.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix:
Confident Crutchlow blasts to front row in Estoril
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed to his second front row start in the opening three rounds of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with another scintillating qualifying performance in Estoril today.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Estoril:
ANTONELLI TO TAKE PORTUGUESE BOW FROM ROW FOUR
Niccolo Antonelli continued to make progress with his adaptation to the Estoril circuit and the FTR chassis today, qualifying on the fourth row of the grid for tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix. The Italian found a good set-up for his bike which will be crucial for the race, when a few further tweaks should see him able to fight for a top result.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams at Monza:
ParkinGO MTC Racing Team
Monza 5th May 2012
Positive start of the day for Chaz, in eighth position as yesterday’s qualifying. The ParkinGO MTC rider has set a fast top speed (331.4 km/h) and a good pace from the start thanks to the new engine received from Aprilia this weekend.
Colin Edwards has broken his left collarbone in a crash during qualifying for the Portuguese MotoGP round at Estoril on Saturday. The NGM Forward rider was knocked off his bike in the latter part of qualifying practice, as he cruised around off the racing line. Randy de Puniet lost the front of his Power Electronics Aprilia machine, which slid along the track and hit Edwards' Suter BMW. Edwards fell heavily, suffering a mild concussion and injuring his collarbone in the fall.
World Superstock qualifying was declared a wet session.
As nobody was able to go faster than yesterday, the results from QP1 stand. While some riders went out in an attempt to get some data and improve their wet settings, most teams spend most of the time in the pits.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Estoril:
Casey Stoner will start from pole for Sunday's MotoGP race at Estoril, setting the fastest lap in the final minutes of an incident-packed session. Stoner's advantage over teammate Dani Pedrosa is minimal, and not much bigger over surprise 3rd place man Cal Crutchlow, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man grabbing his second front-row start of the season.