Pedrosa snatches pole in thrilling Le Mans qualifying

france le mans motogp qp pedrosa
Saturday, 19 May 2012

In an action-packed qualifying session at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in Le Mans it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took his first pole position of the season ahead of Casey Stoner.

Having started in the wet, the session dried out with 30 minutes to go, leaving Pedrosa to post a time of 1.33’638 to snatch pole from teammate Stoner, and record his fourth ever MotoGP Le Mans pole position. Completing the front row is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who achieved his best grid position of the season so far in third.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo heads the second row in fourth after being held up in traffic on his final hot lap. Behind him in fifth is Dovizioso’s teammate Cal Crutchlow, who had been the early pace setter in the session, yet couldn’t quite match the Italian’s pace. Sixth place is occupied by Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, who will be looking to take this form into tomorrow’s race and fight for a podium.

The third row is headed by Valentino Rossi in seventh, his best grid position so far this year, who qualified as top Ducati after lapping consistently quick ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista. Bautista, who had been in the top five for most of the practice sessions, crashed out in the last minute of qualifying on his hot lap. Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá sits in ninth, ahead of other satellite Ducati rider Karel Abraham on-board his Cardion AB Racing machine.

Power Electronics Aspar’s French rider Randy de Puniet finished top CRT in 12th, much to the delight of the home fans.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl crashed half way through the session, after being one of the first riders to head out on slicks on the drying track. Iván Silva saved a near low-side early in the session, before taking an excursion into the gravel towards the end, while De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaró’s misery continued this weekend as he had to return to the pits with bike issues.

TAGS France

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