2016 Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Result: Record-Breaking Business As Usual

In very Lorenzo fashion, the former world champion went out and reconquered Valencia, setting the first 1:29 time around the season-ending Spanish track on his first flying lap, improving even more soon after and eventually settling for another record-breaking 1:29.401.

His main nemesis for the weekend, Marc Marquez, managed to get as close as three tenths of a second after he waved his way around Iannone and switched to the harder option front tyre. The Honda had some red sector times in hand on the last lap but not enough to stop Lorenzo’s last pole position for Yamaha. That leaves the duo equal at the top of the pole position record (yes, since records are available) for another couple of months.

Valentino Rossi warmed up slower but he eventually joined the front row party, although seven tenths down on his teammate. Another tenth down was his future teammate, Maverick Viñales promising to join the battle for the podium from fourth position on the grid.

The fastest Ducati proved to be Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian starting the race from the middle of the second row. Pol Espargaro proved once again that his position in the practice sessions was no fluke, qualifying sixth.

A Ducati, a Honda and a Suzuki will share the third row, Andrea Iannone leading Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro, who, despite showing good speed throughout the weekend, had a crash late into the session.

Bradley Smith managed to qualify tenth, in front of Q1 survivors Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci, also helped by an early crash from his fellow British colleague.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'29.401    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'29.741 0.340 0.340
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'30.128 0.727 0.387
4 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'30.276 0.875 0.148
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'30.338 0.937 0.062
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'30.392 0.991 0.054
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'30.420 1.019 0.028
8 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'30.574 1.173 0.154
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'30.885 1.484 0.311
10 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'30.949 1.548 0.064
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'31.030 1.629 0.081
12 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'31.203 1.802 0.173
    Q1 Result        
Q2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'30.544    
Q2 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'30.815 0.271 0.271
13 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'30.894 0.350 0.079
14 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 1'31.406 0.862 0.512
15 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'31.686 1.142 0.280
16 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 1'31.749 1.205 0.063
17 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 1'31.813 1.269 0.064
18 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 1'31.847 1.303 0.034
19 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati 1'31.956 1.412 0.109
20 36 Mika KALLIO KTM 1'32.092 1.548 0.136
21 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'32.181 1.637 0.089
22 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'32.240 1.696 0.059

 

Round Number: 
18
2016
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Comments

VR46's pole position laptime ten years ago would have put him tenth on the grid this year. Totally meaningless, I know, but for some reason I just had to look it up. Congrats to Mika for being at the top of the back row on the KTM!!

What a lap! Actually....3 laps! That quali was just as perfect as amazing. The sheer determination, speed and those inch perfect lines.... I don't even recall when was the last time that VR was so behind his team-mate in terms of lap time.
We need Motoshrink here to explain Lorenzo's reboot: I don't believe it's just a matter of better feeling with a Michelin :)

Nobody would ever be able to do that pole lap as smooth and inch perfect as Lorenzo. Massive Respect. MV25 showing some podium promise. Can't wait for the race tomorrow. And I wonder how KTM found that extra second in qualification when they were around 2.2.5 seconds off the top in the practice sessions. They've really created a decent bike I guess. 

watching mika exit corners, it looks to me as though he is not picking the bike up as early as the others. this was especially visible when pol passed, then led him in fp3. it almost seemed as though pol was exagerating the move while in front of mika.

part of the lack of drive issue?

@mgm I don't think you do. Is it a reboot/psychology? Maybe more the opposite...

@46to93 I totally agree.
Lorenzo, the Yamaha, and Valencia - our last vestige of something very special we will never see again. (Which is framed well with the next round's Ducati/Qatar goodness of fit for Jorge btw). Nice grip with this surface, these tires and non-mixed conditions. Spanish home turf. A track that exemplifies what Jorge and his Yamaha can do so well, direction change cutting into the race line on the tires edge. They only touch straight up and down center tire for 3 brief moments here aside from the straight.

Appreciate the wonder and end of an era. Jorge's style on this bike is on showcase. Have we ever seen anything else like it on a MotoGP bike? It is fantastic. Look where he puts the bike. THE line. Right on it. Rossi has lines other riders don't, but it is Lorenzo that has ahold of the race line. I love watching his head and shoulders come down at the tarmac and edge grip limit, and the precise knife edge incision he carves unlike any other rider. My Triumph asks me to ride it that way so I have given it more consideration recently. The contrast of it with #93 and the Honda is so dramatic. Jorgeous!

The KTM has much intrigue now eh? They are finding set up to grab rear grip on the LONG descending left sweeper before we get on the straight. It is a place that offers a lot - of time gain, and insight for the team this weekend.

@LAH ooks like they sorted a more rearward set up during fp3/4, I was thinking the very same thing as you...that Kallio needed to "Pedrosa" hoist the bike as well as the set up changes. But the set up change will make it a bit heavier on turn in for all the flick spots. Feel on this frame style can be great, but it may be odd to get it there, and the Superbike and Moto3 experiences with steel trellis may not transfer particularly well with these tires, brakes, power and electronics. But look! Even physically small, long time out of racing, and average at best skills in MotoGP terms Kallio is getting the Orange Scandinavian anomoly into the pace, which is an amazing feat. Good bike!

So instead of logic, I go to the crystal ball of odd humor and history for KTM predictions. The unthinkable via outside odds in the grand scheme? Brexit from the EU shocked us, and terrestrial Brit Crutchlow brought wee LCR's satellite Honda to win a GP. I notice that a certain bizarre Orange outsider, held up by white power that had only been previously seen as a part of the lower class but now also in the middle class...is now for all to see winning amongst all the classes in a certain world power. Coincidence, or harbinger? Do Geert Wilders or Norbert Hofer have any involvement in the new suspension for the bike? I am poor with history in the area, but who was it that won Independence in the area that this KTM is born? Philip II, the Catholic King of Spain, was outraged by and long fought upstart influence in the "Low Countries." Prince William of ORANGE and the locals of Netherlands rebelled and beat the Spanish, expelling them. It took 80 years though. So there's that.
;)

I won't remember winglets particularly much, but will Jorge and the Yamaha in the dry at tracks like Valencia.

Motoshrink- nice ramble. Might have been too long, but great effort.

However I have no idea what you are getting at.

I think you are right about the KTM "instead of logic, odd humor
/history" bit - sure to be lost on at least half of us. Don't sweat it.

What about the rest?

That man is looking in form to be unbeatable tomorrow. Pure excellence is the way he is riding. I have nothing else to say. Zara you captured all the details. Motoshrink, I still think you have a screw loose but you keep me entertained lol! That last sentence has me wanting to name you the Riddler. I do see your references.