Jorge Lorenzo came out on top in a gripping head to head with Casey Stoner for pole position at the first round of the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, whilst Cal Crutchlow made it two Yamahas on the front row with his best-ever qualifying display.
1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing 1'54.634
2 Casey STONER Repsol Honda Team 1'54.8550.221 / 0.221
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'55.0220.388 / 0.167
4 Ben SPIES Yamaha Factory Racing 1'55.5120.878 / 0.490
5 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team 1'55.6371.003 / 0.125
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'55.8581.224 / 0.221
7 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1'55.9051.271 / 0.047
8 Hector BARBERA Pramac Racing Team 1'55.9831.349 / 0.078
9 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP 1'56.0631.429 / 0.080
10 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing 1'56.1981.564 / 0.135
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'56.5211.887 / 0.323
12 Valentino ROSSI Ducati Team 1'56.8132.179 / 0.292
13 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1'57.6443.010 / 0.831
14 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar 1'58.2663.632 / 0.622
15 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar 1'58.5203.886 / 0.254
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Avintia Blusens 1'58.7954.161 / 0.275
17 Michele PIRRO San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'59.0854.451 / 0.290
18 Mattia PASINI Speed Master 1'59.1954.561 / 0.110
19 Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project 1'59.6645.030 / 0.469
20 Ivan SILVA Avintia Blusens 2'00.4935.859 / 0.829
21 James ELLISON Paul Bird Motorsport 2'00.7576.123 / 0.264
Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took the first ever Moto3™ pole position for Sunday's Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar after posting the fastest lap at the very end of Saturday's qualifying session. The German rider's final effort of 2'08.188 was enough to seal prime position on the grid by a margin of just 0.016s ahead of Maverick Viñales (Blusens Avintia).
Spanish rider Viñales – whose top time from FP2 was faster than Cortese's pole – looked set to take first position on the timesheet with his time of 2'08.204 until Cortese's late salvo, with Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany) completing the front row following a strong session.
Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) led the session towards the end but eventually had to settle for fourth position, and the Spaniard will be joined on the second row by Niklas Ajo (TT Motion Events Racing) and rookie Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI).
Starting the season-opening race from the third row will be Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Airasia-SIC-Ajo), Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0'0) and another debutant Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
British rider Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ended the session 12th fastest and will therefore begin from row four, whilst compatriot Danny Webb was 25th quickest on the Mahindra Racing machine. Italian Simone Grotzkyj (Ambrogio Next Racing) had a crash with 10 minutes of the session left, and qualified in 29th.
The Moto3 riders will be back on track at 9.20pm local time on Saturday evening for their 20-minute warm up session prior to Sunday's race.
Valentino Rossi just can't stay away from four wheeled racing. His participation in the Monza Rally is now a fixed event every winter, where he drives his VR46 liveried car, but that won't be his only automobile race this year. The Doctor will be participating in the first round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, on April 15, at Monza, in the Pro-Am Cup category. And of course he couldn't pass up the opportunity to drive an Italian legend, a Ferrari, even if it isn't a Formula 1 car.
Vale will share the Ferrari 458 Italia, prepared by the Kessel Racing Team, with his trusted friend Uccio Salucci. The race number has already been chosen, obviously the 46, and the colors will be those of his merchandising company and Monster. "We decided at the last minute to take part in this round, and doing it together with my friend Uccio will certainly be a lot of fun," Rossi said.