Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Aragon:
Casey Stoner has taken pole position for tomorrow's MotoGP race at Aragon, his 9th of the year, after dominating most of qualifying. Stoner shot to the top of the timesheets from the start with a lap of 1'49.165, half a second ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, and was never really threatened throughout qualifying. A minor crash towards the end of the session left Stoner unhurt, outbraking himself into turn 7 and tipping over in the gravel, but the Australian went on to improve his pole time almost immediately afterwards, improving his own pole record from last year by nearly half a second.
Pedrosa will start from beside Stoner on Sunday, the Spaniard having pushed hard throughout qualifying, eventually also running off in an attempt to catch his teammate. Eventually, Pedrosa came up some three tenths short, forced to concede the position to Stoner.
The Repsol Hondas are followed by the factory Yamahas, Ben Spies well ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. The Texan looked poised throughout qualifying, earning his front row start, in contrast with reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who has struggled on Saturday. A very hard lap at the end of the session saw Lorenzo make up a couple of positions, leaving the factory Yamaha man starting from the head of the second row on Sunday.
Lorenzo has two Hondas alongside him on the second row, Repsol's Andrea Dovizioso starting ahead of San Carlo Gresini's Marco Simoncelli with a lap just fifteen hundredths quicker than Simoncelli's. Two Ducatis head up the third row, with Nicky Hayden the first of the Marlboro Ducatis, and Karel Abraham of the Cardion AB team starting from 8th. The second San Carlo Gresini of Hiroshi Aoyama sits in 9th spot, while Randy de Puniet rounds out the top ten on the Pramac Ducati.
There was much interest in Valentino Rossi's Marlboro Ducati. The Italian had two bikes with the brand new aluminium chassis in the garage, he and his team having decided to leave the carbon fiber chassis behind and concentrate on the metal chassis. But the new chassis requires a new engine, and the sixth engine that Rossi took at Misano is the only one of his current allocation that fits the new chassis. A crash early in the session meant he and his crew faced a dilemma: take the spare bike out and start from pit lane on Sunday, or try to repair the bike as quickly as possible and delay the possibility of a penalty for as long as possible. In the end, they chose the latter option, sending Rossi out on the number bike, containing engine number 6. The time they lost did mean that Rossi only managed to qualify in 13th, and will start from the 5th row of the grid. With bad weather forecast for tomorrow, the likelihood of Rossi using a 7th engine before the season is out is getting bigger and bigger.
|10||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||1'49.826||1.375||0.013|