2015 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Results: In Front Of A Packed Crowd

The last qualifying session took place with 26.6ºC air temperature and 31.1ºC track temperature, higher than anticipated by Bridgestone and potentially problematic for the Hondas in particular. Valentino Rossi will start from the back of the grid tomorrow regardless of where he qualifies today.

Eugene Laverty opened the first qualifying session with a cold tyre crash as Aleix Espagaro set the quickest time. While Aleix Espagaro was beating his own time, his Suzuki teammate Maverick Viñales suffered a high side crash at turn three and MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden was able to slam the anchors on and not hit him. Viñales was unhurt enough to run back for his spare bike to try to take second place off Hector Barbera and get through to the next session.

Michele Pirro tried to get his winged Ducati into the final session, but Viñales, spectacularly leaving Bridgestone compound on turn thirteen, took second place and then improved his time further at the flag, behind Aleix Espagaro, both Suzukis getting promoted to qualifying two.

The second qualifying session was opened by a lap record setting 1'30.499 from Marc Marquez with Dani Pedrosa less than three tenths slower in second, then two tenths a lap later while Marquez swapped bikes early, likely on a three-bike strategy.

On his second bike, Marquez lost a few tenths at a corner, shook his head and headed right back to the pits for his third set of tyres with six minutes left. As Marquez was in the pits, Jorge Lorenzo, on an empty track, blitzed Marquez's lap record by almost a half of a second with a near-perfect lap. Valentino Rossi, struggling with his bike, crashed out at turn eight, ending the session twelfth quickest out of the twelve.

Dani Pedrosa was third quickest, with Aleix Espagaro fending off Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith for the front of the second row.

Jorge Lorenzo, after struggling this morning, bounced back with a near-perfect, lap-record setting pole position ahead of the Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Qualifying Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'30.011    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'30.499 0.488 0.488
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'30.516 0.505 0.017
4 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'30.917 0.906 0.401
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'30.948 0.937 0.031
6 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'31.012 1.001 0.064
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'31.056 1.045 0.044
8 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'31.080 1.069 0.024
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'31.245 1.234 0.165
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'31.292 1.281 0.047
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'31.340 1.329 0.048
12 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'31.471 1.460 0.131
13 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'31.780 0.371 0.271
14 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 1'31.824 0.415 0.044
15 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'31.851 0.442 0.027
16 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward 1'31.856 0.447 0.005
17 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 1'32.083 0.674 0.227
18 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'32.142 0.733 0.059
19 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 1'32.282 0.873 0.140
20 45 Scott REDDING Honda 1'32.448 1.039 0.166
21 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'32.564 1.155 0.116
22 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati 1'32.716 1.307 0.152
23 13 Anthony WEST Honda 1'33.049 1.640 0.333
24 50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda 1'33.066 1.657 0.017
25 24 Toni ELIAS Yamaha Forward 1'33.092 1.683 0.026
26 23 Broc PARKES ART 1'33.577 2.168 0.485

Qualifying One Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'31.409    
2 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'31.509 0.100 0.100
3 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'31.780 0.371 0.271
4 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 1'31.824 0.415 0.044
5 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'31.851 0.442 0.027
6 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward 1'31.856 0.447 0.005
7 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 1'32.083 0.674 0.227
8 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'32.142 0.733 0.059
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 1'32.282 0.873 0.140
10 45 Scott REDDING Honda 1'32.448 1.039 0.166
11 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'32.564 1.155 0.116
12 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati 1'32.716 1.307 0.152
13 13 Anthony WEST Honda 1'33.049 1.640 0.333
14 50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda 1'33.066 1.657 0.017
15 24 Toni ELIAS Yamaha Forward 1'33.092 1.683 0.026
16 23 Broc PARKES ART 1'33.577 2.168 0.485

Qualifying Two Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'30.011    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'30.499 0.488 0.488
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'30.516 0.505 0.017
4 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'30.917 0.906 0.401
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'30.948 0.937 0.031
6 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'31.012 1.001 0.064
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'31.056 1.045 0.044
8 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'31.080 1.069 0.024
9 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'31.245 1.234 0.165
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'31.292 1.281 0.047
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'31.340 1.329 0.048
12 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'31.471 1.460 0.131

 

Round Number: 
18
2015
Tweet Button: 

Back to top

Comments

Greetings from the green grandstand at Valencia where we had a front row seat for Rossi's lowside. Any info on whether he was on a qualifying or a race setup to try that in the warmer temperature? He's been in the top 5 throughout so running 10th-12th would seem odd, especially comparing his pace in Q2 to FP4 just before...

Looked to me like Rossi was trying to follow Dani? Perhaps trying some race set-up and surely not being motivated for a really fast qualifying lap. Regardless I hope Rossi will put up a valiant effort tomorrow. Beating Jorge when he is this fast is going to be difficult which means Rossi must be 2:nd (?) to become WC, difficult is the word I think. Also looking forward to the Valencia tests with next year gear. Perhaps the Michelins will suit Yamaha? Worse front grip than Bridgestone will not suit Marquez style I think.

He was second fastest behind Iannone in FP3, 1:30.988. If not for Maniac Joe's "qualifying" tyre he would have headed the field. Given normal circumstances, and a normal approach to qualifying (rather than treating it as FP5) it's a fair assumption the would have found a few tenths and been pretty close to MM and DP.

Gawd, imagine the battle into T1 if he'd lined up next to MM.....race control would have conniptions!

Open class.
It has been almighty between Hector an Loris. Hectic Hector was a bad boy many times and in Sepang too. Just takes his penalties and man's up on and off track.
May the best man win open class.
Superb performance by Lorenzo. Matt Oxley noted Lorenzo has only one knife in his arsenal and I hope it is even sharper tomorrow.
Had he not accepted Rossi back into the Yamaha fold back back then, none of this 'match rigging shite' would have been an issue in the first place.

As if Jorge had ANY say in that whatsoever...

You don't say no to the most popular rider of all time unless you really don't like selling motorcycles..

Nicky Hayden was here to win it in and around 10 years back and did.
What he did today by avoiding breaking Maverick Vinales neck was amazing.
90% would not have given a hoot.
Nicky actually pulled off a stop, not in the interest of a lap time, but in the interest of saving a competitor's life.
Good on you mate...brilliant and all the best in SBK.

Nicky stopped because he didn't want to hurt another rider and ALSO because there wasn't anywhere else to go. I highly doubt in that exact situation 90% of the riders would have chosen to RUN OVER Maverick for at least the selfish reason of potentially hurting themselves when they could stop (lose a lap but try to make the time on the next lap).

Yeah, kind of a nice sentiment about Nicky but a pretty stupid comment. They all would of done whatever they could to avoid a rider down in front.

The reason Rossi has so many wins and championships is more about his racing than qualifying well. He's a notoriously 'poor' qualifier, but that's as much about the system as him.

He has a tough task ahead tomorrow to achieve his 10th title, but don't write him or anyone else off at this point. Lorenzo is very unlikely to be on the same tyres tomorrow as he used to set his Q lap, and lots can happen between now and the race, and in the race itself, to upset any assumptions about what is possible, likely, or definite.

8th is his worst likely finishing position I feel, not his best. He could be 8th after the first lap. Lorenzo looks good for the win, but I also feel that MM has a point to make here, and DP is also a big threat to JL. If Iannone has his best form to hand JL might not even get on the podium.

This is a long way from over. Thankfully.

This is really off the cuff, but I think the range of possibilities for Rossi's finish is easiest predicted by who he'll have to "worry" about. Realistically, he probably won't face much resistance until he reaches the top ten. For simplicity, I'll assume that will consist of himself and the top nine qualifiers when he arrives, but honestly any swap you might predict--Petrucci for A. Espargaró being likely--probably won't prove to be the deciding factor.

I'd give even money that either Crutchlow or Marquez will crash out (bizarrely, this would be one of the most sure fire ways for Marquez to minimize the damage to his reputation this season), so let's just say that happens and that 9th or better is a given. I'm placing the factory Ducatis and the Tech 3 squad at the back of the group left to contend with, and I really have to assume that Iannone and maybe Smith are the threats in that bunch. So I now see Rossi finishing no lower than 7th.

At this point in my imagination, Rossi's fate depends much on the timing of his arrival to either Smith or Iannone. If Rossi catches them earlyish--first half, say--then I assume Rossi gets through to 5th. My crystal ball loses focus here, because his future splinters off in a few different directions depending on whether Crutchlow or Marquez (or both!) crashed before he reached this point.

For my money, I say he finishes top five. And I think if he wins the championship, he'll have Dani Pedrosa to thank.

I want to see Vale do the race of his life. Then if it's enough or not, we'll see, fair play to all.
Also a top 10 for Nicky would make me really happy.

Incredible lap from JL. I'd guess his strategy from pole is as usual - bolt at the start, put a gap to P2 & manage the race according to P2's pace.

Looking at strings of race pace laps put together during FP3, it'd be idiotic to say things will definitely go JL's way. JL hovered btwn 31.4 - 31.6 & put together 3 laps under 31.3 at the end of the session. Meanwhile, MM has put together 3 blistering runs that clocked 8 laps at or under 31.3 & a couple of 31.0. DP put in a few 31.4, but my guess is he won't be able to hang with JL & MM for too long at the start, but I didn't forget about Motegi. I'm not sure how much ground AI will be able to make up from P7, but he was able to string a couple of laps of 31.4. VR seems to be comfortable in 31.6 - 31.8, but put in surprising 2 laps in a row at 31.0 at the end of the session & showed his cards; I can see him cut thru the field fairly quickly, but can't see him closing the distance to the top 4.

Obviously, I don't want to read too deeply into FP3 results, but just another scenario I decided to doodle because I have nothing better to do till the race.