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.
Crutchlow's impressive run sees him qualifying ahead of both of the factory Yamahas. Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies both had problems in qualifying, Spies with traffic, Lorenzo with the timing of his run, leaving them in 4th and 5th on the grid. Alvaro Bautista is the best satellite Honda, ending the session in 6th and on the final spot of the second row of the grid. Andrea Dovizioso heads up the 3rd row, putting the final Yamaha in 7th ahead of the Pramac Ducati of Hector Barbera and the factory Ducatis of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
But the results of qualifying don't really reflect the drama. A few spots of rain fell in the final stadium sector of the track as the second half of the session started, but the rain never really carried on. Then, as the final ten minutes of qualifying approached, Randy de Puniet crashed heavily in the Esses, his bike sliding off and hitting the coasting Colin Edwards. Edwards fell badly, suffering a suspected collarbone fracture in the fall, and though De Puniet came away much better off, the Frenchman suffered some badly bruised ribs and a bruised finger. The session was red-flagged, and after resuming, the track was so busy that the riders were all getting in each other's way. Ben Spies, Dani Pedrosa, and several others were balked by slower riders on a fast lap, and Jorge Lorenzo appeared to make a mistake in turn one as he started what would have been his final qualifying lap.
|14||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'39.586||2.398||0.188|