Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Silverstone:
Casey Stoner has secured his fourth pole position of the season, holding off a very strong challenge from Marco Simoncelli. Stoner was fastest on race tires, but it was Jorge Lorenzo who topped the timesheets early, putting in a very fast lap after just 25 minutes. Lorenzo put in a resolute defence, but in the end was no match for either Stoner or Simoncelli. Simoncelli attacked with 45 minutes to go, posting a very strong time, only to be parried with relative ease by Stoner, the Repsol Honda securing pole with a time well over a second under last year's pole record.
Both Lorenzo and Simoncelli tried to take back pole from Stoner in the final minutes, but though they were just a fraction faster in the first half of the lap, they were losing nearly three tenths of a second in the final sector, Simoncelli taking 2nd just under two tenths slower than Stoner, Lorenzo 3rd just over two tenths slower.
Ben Spies will head up the second row of the grid, the Texan over six tenths behind the Repsol Honda of Stoner, and the last man within a second of the Australian. Dovizioso sneaked into 5th, ahead of a surprising Karel Abraham on the satellite Cardion AB Ducati. The Czech rookie was the first of the Ducatis, ending up just ahead of Nicky Hayden in 7th, the Kentucky Kid himself just a fraction ahead of the battling Texan Colin Edwards, a strong result for a rider who broke his collarbone just last week.
The news was bad for the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, though, as Cal Crutchlow crashed very early in the session, falling heavily on his shoulder and fracturing his left collarbone, suffering a concussion as well. Crutchlow was flown to a local hospital, where he will be examined and probably undergo surgery to have a plate fitted today or tomorrow.
Qualifying through up two big surprises at Silverstone. The first are the gaps: the first 4 riders are within a second, the 5th is just over a second off pole, and places 6 and beyond are over two seconds back of Casey Stoner. And the other big surprise is down in 13th, where Valentino Rossi is laboring 3.761 seconds off the time of Casey Stoner. This is Rossi's first time at Silverstone, but the nine-time World Champion has usually learned tracks quickly. Nearly four seconds off the pace is a long way back for Rossi.
|10||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||2'04.589||2.569||0.069|