News 12 Jun 2011

Stoner smashes MotoGP lap record on way to pole position at Silverstone

Aussie Casey Stoner took pole position at Silverstone on Saturday, setting a new lap record in the process.

Aussie Casey Stoner took pole position at Silverstone on Saturday, setting a new lap record in the process.

Under darkening skies on Saturday afternoon Casey Stoner outran the competition to pole position in a spellbinding MotoGP qualifying session for the AirAsia British Grand Prix, setting a new lap record of 2:02.020, over a second faster than last year’s pole position record set by Jorge Lorenzo at the then brand new track.

Marco Simoncelli ran a close second with a qualifying time of 2’02.208, with Lorenzo in third, 0.029s behind the Italian.

Simoncelli leapt to the top of the timesheet at the start of the session, followed by Lorenzo at the 30-minute mark with a lap 1.5s faster than his best practice time, then by Stoner, who set a time of 2:02.442, and again by Simoncelli who overtook the lead with a lap of 2:02.389, only to have Stoner set an unstoppable lap that sent him to the front of the field.

The rest of the field set far faster times than those of the previous day, with Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) heading the second row for the AirAsia British Grand Prix race with a time of 2:02.677, over a second faster than his best practice time, followed by Stoner’s team mate Andrea Dovizioso in fifth with a time of 2:03.212.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), who had a crash in the morning session, finished qualifying in sixth, putting his Ducati in the last spot on the second row, with a time of 2:04.151.

Nicky Hayden will start in seventh position 0.153s behind Abraham, followed by Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who continued to improve his times while still recovering from a broken collarbone.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) qualified ninth, 0.012s behind Edwards, and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) completed the top ten times with a 2:04.589.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) finished the qualifying session down in 13th, behind Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) in 11th and Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in 12th.

The Italian has struggled all weekend to find a set up for the GP11 while simultaneously learning his way around the track after missing last year’s race due to injury.

Local hero Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was enjoying a good weekend until a crash after completing just two laps resulted in a broken collarbone and concussion. Toni Elías also crashed in the first half of the session.

Moto2 qualifying began under dark skies and blustery wind, with Marc Márquez again leading the timings from early in the session, setting a new circuit Moto2 record with a time of 2:08.101 to take pole.

Championship leader Stefan Bradl pushed hard in the last five minutes to challenge Márquez for the pole, sliding into corners around his second to last lap, but ended the session in third with a time of 2:08.618, behind the Suter bike of Scott Redding in second.

Spanish riders Nico Terol and Maverick Viñales battled for pole position in a windy 125cc qualifying practice, with 16 year-old Viñales grabbing the top spot with three minutes to go to seal his first ever pole with a time of 2’14.684s.

Terol, who finished fourth at Silverstone last year, was 0.036s behind the rookie Viñales and will start the race from second position. Johann Zarco, Efrén Vázquez and Sandro Cortese battled for the remaining front row spot the entire session, with Zarco landing it with a time of 2:15.266.

In the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race on Saturday, Australia’s Arthur Sissis finished ninth in mixed conditions. That race was won by Austrian young gun Lukas Trautmann.

2011 MotoGP World Championship
Round six – Silverstone, Great Britain

MotoGP Qualifying:
1. Casey STONER, 2:02.020
2. Marco SIMONCELLI, 2:02.208
3. Jorge LORENZO, 2:02.237
4. Ben SPIES, 2:02.677
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, 2:03.212
6. Karel ABRAHAM, 2:04.151
7. Nicky HAYDEN, 2:04.304
8. Colin EDWARDS, 2:04.508
9. Alvaro BAUTISTA, 2:04.520
10. Randy DE PUNIET, 2:04.589
11. Hiroshi AOYAMA, 2:04.919
12. Hector BARBERA, 2:05.164
13. Valentino ROSSI, 2:05.781
14. Toni ELIAS, 2:05.862
15. Loris CAPIROSSI, 2:06.256
16. Cal CRUTCHLOW, 2:07.911