News 5 Jun 2011

Simoncelli secures first ever MotoGP pole at Catalunya, Stoner takes second

Italian Marco Simoncelli took his first ever pole in Barcelona overnight.

Italian Marco Simoncelli took his first ever pole in Barcelona overnight.

Marco Simoncelli fires his San Carlo Honda Gresini Team to the front of qualifying at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya to take his first pole position of the premier class, in front of Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Simoncelli shot into a surprise pole position in the last 30 seconds of qualifying, pulling out a fast lap of 1:42.413 in front of Australian Stoner, who had otherwise lead the entire qualifying session, but was relegated to second.

Stoner, who holds both the best pole position time and the fastest lap at the Montmelo track, qualified just 0.016s behind the Italian.

Last year’s race winner Lorenzo completed the first row with a third fastest time of 1:42.728.

Ben Spies was in top form, just missing out on a front-row start by a margin of 0.014s, having held second in the timings with three minutes remaining.

Spies fronts the second row, ahead of Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso. Finishing the second row is Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who had an off track excursion early in qualifying but was able to match his previous best grid position of the season in sixth.

The Ducati Team duo head up the third row, with Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) ahead of Nicky Hayden for the first time this weekend, followed by Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who finished fifth here last year and won the 250 race in 2009.

Completing the top ten in the session were Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in ninth position followed by Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), who ran off the track earlier and was not able to better his best qualifying position of the season of tenth.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) had an early crash at the start of the session, and rejoined the session after a medical check to finish in 15th.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) will not be participating in this round due to injuries.

Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing) set pole position for this weekend’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) and Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) will join Bradl on the front row for Sunday’s race. He was 0.114s quicker than Espargaró in second position, and 0.225s in front of third place qualifier Takahashi.

Bankia Aspar riders Nicolas Terol and Héctor Faubel head up an all Spanish 125cc front row for the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, with Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) in third.

A determined Terol secured his fourth pole position of the 2011 season with a fastest lap of 1:51.281 nearly half a second faster than that of his team-mate Héctor Faubel.

Faubel, who topped the times briefly in the last three minutes, couldn’t beat his teammate’s pace and had to be content with second behind Terol.

Sixteen year-old rookie Maverick Viñales had another impressive qualifying session to join the Bankia Aspar duo on the front row for the Catalunya race, his second third position qualifying result this year.

Viñales is the only man to have beaten Terol this year, when he won at the Le Mans race last month.

2011 MotoGP World Championship
Round Five – Catalunya, Spain

MotoGP Qualifying Results
1. Marco SIMONCELLI, San Carlo Honda Gresini 1:42.413
2. Casey STONER, Repsol Honda Team 1:42.429
3. Jorge LORENZO, Yamaha Factory Racing 1:42.728
4. Ben SPIES, Yamaha Factory Racing 1:42.742
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Repsol Honda Team, 1:42.749
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Monster Yamaha, Tech 3 1:43.202
7. Valentino ROSSI, Ducati Team, 1:43.223
8. Nicky HAYDEN, Ducati Team, 1:43.228
9. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 1:43.447
10. Hector BARBERA, Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP, 1:43.656
11. Hiroshi AOYAMA, San Carlo Honda Gresini, 1:43.734
12. Randy DE PUNIET, Pramac Racing Team, 1:43.764
13. Loris CAPIROSSI, Pramac Racing Team, 1:44.068
14. Toni ELIAS, LCR Honda MotoGP, 1:44.510
15. Karel ABRAHAM, Cardion AB Motoracing, 1:45.661