News 8 Nov 2009

MotoGP: Stoner on pole at Valencia for final round of 2009


Casey Stoner will start the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana in pole position after repeating his domination of the free practice sessions in qualifying on Saturday.

The Australian topped the timesheet by a clear 0.263s, with a best lap of 1’32.256 securing him the lead on the front row of the grid.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was next quickest as he improved his own best practice time by over 0.4s to secure second place, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, who was third fastest overall in the practice sessions as well.

Heading up the second row of the grid will be Lorenzo’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate and World Champion Valentino Rossi, whose fourth position was enough to secure him the BMW M Award for best qualifier in MotoGP in 2009.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took fifth spot for the eighth time this season, after improving significantly on his own practice times from earlier in the weekend, whilst Stoner’s Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden took the final second-row slot with his final lap, beating Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) to sixth.

De Puniet recovered from an early crash to ensure seventh place, after an impressive showing in both practice sessions, whilst Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will occupy eighth in the starting positions.

Ben Spies, riding as a wildcard entry for the Sterilgarda Yamaha Team and completing only his fourth ever qualifying session in MotoGP, will line up ninth, with Andrea Dovizioso also coming through inside the top ten.

Alex Debón was the top performer in qualifying for the 250cc class, but suffered a suspected broken rib in a late crash in the session, after ensuring pole position.

Aeropuerto-Castello-Blusens rider Debón’s lap of 1’36.116 – set on his 20th and last of the session before his run off at turn one – was an improvement on his own time which had already placed him at the top of the timesheet. He was then taken to the Clinica Mobile, where a suspected broken rib was diagnosed, with confirmation of his participation in Sunday’s race expected on the morning of the GP.

Following Debón onto the front row of the grid, Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) improved on his free practice times to take second spot, with Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team) and Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG) in third and fourth respectively.

Hiroshi Aoyama, who only needs to finish in eleventh place in Sunday’s race to take the 2009 250cc World title, will lead the second row, accompanied by Thomas Luthi (Emmi – Caffe Latte), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Mattia Pasini (Paddock GP Racing Team).

A seventh pole position of the year was secured by Julián Simón, as the 125cc 2009 World Champion topped the qualifying practice timesheet.

Simón’s fastest lap of 1’41.472 placed him ahead of Simone Corsi (Fontana Racing), his Bancaja Aspar team-mate Bradley Smith and Red Bull KTM rider Marc Márquez, on the front row of the grid.

The second row will comprise Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing Team), Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team), Marcel Schrotter (Toni – Mang Team) and Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team), with Schrotter managing to overcome an early run-off to continue his impressive weekend by qualifying in seventh.

Scott Redding also experienced a spill in the final minute of the session but managed to qualify in ninth place, with Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten) completing the top ten.

With the return to Europe for the final round of the season, Sunday’s races at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit take place at the regular times of 11am in the 125cc class, 12.15pm in the 250cc category and 2pm for MotoGP.

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