29 September 2012
Pedrosa claims pole at Aragon
Jorge Lorenzo takes pole position for the Aragon MotoGP ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow.
MotoGP title leader has taken pole position for the Aragon MotoGP, after getting the better of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow at the end of the first dry session of the weekend.
Tech 3 Yamaha's Crutchlow led for large parts of the session, but saw a 0.6s advantage evaporate in the closing stages as Pedrosa and then Lorenzo burst past.
Lorenzo finally put his Yamaha on pole by just 0.088s from championship rival Pedrosa, who recovered from an early fall to mount a late pole challenge on his 27th birthday.
Behind Crutchlow, Ben Spies (Yamaha), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Tech 3 Yamaha) will form row two on Sunday's grid.
Pedrosa's stand-in Repsol Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea claimed a commendable seventh (+1.006s).
The Ulsterman, standing in for Casey Stoner at Repsol Honda, qualified ninth (+1.501s) and finished eighth on his MotoGP debut at Misano.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden both fell from their factory Ducatis and will start eighth and ninth respectively.
After three wet free practice sessions, cold but dry conditions greeted the premier-class riders for the start of qualifying, with damp patches still present from earlier rain.
Pedrosa was first to be caught out by the unfamiliar grip levels - lowsiding from his factory RCV after just seven minutes, as he touched the brakes for turn 14. Yonny Hernandez later suffered a near identical fall.
Pedrosa sunk as low as 18th before returning on his spare bike, by which time Yamaha riders Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Spies and Crutchlow were filling the top four places.
Rookie Bradl - who, like the factory Yamaha and Honda teams, tested at Aragon earlier this month - briefly broke the M1 domination, but Crutchlow put Yamaha back on top by the halfway stage.
The Englishman, a faller in the wet this morning, kept command until almost the 57th minute, when Pedrosa hit the front.
Lorenzo then took pole with two-minutes remaining, with Pedrosa closing in on his penultimate lap. None of the top five improved on their last lap, when Pedrosa looked to be caught up behind Rossi.
Pramac Ducati's Hector Barbera completed the top ten (+1.668s), with the top CRT of Aleix Espargaro reaching as high as ninth in the closing stages, before being shuffled back to eleventh (+1.678s).
Espargaro thus out-qualified Misano podium finisher Alvaro Bautista, who could only manage twelfth for Gresini Honda.
Due to the conditions, Lorenzo's pole time was over one-second slower than had been seen in testing.
Lorenzo will start Sunday's race with a 38-point lead over countryman Pedrosa.
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Cal Crutchlow
4. Ben Spies
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Jonathan Rea
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Nicky Hayden
10. Hector Barbera
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Alvaro Bautista
13. Randy De Puniet
14. Karel Abraham
15. Michele Pirro
16. Mattia Pasini
17. Colin Edwards
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Yonny Hernandez
20. James Ellison
21. David Salom
Randy de Puniet
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