-- MotoGP 2012 - Round 16 - Sepang - Race Day
Guide - From Official statistics compiled by Dr.
• Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the seventh time this year. Lorenzo has finished second on the last five occasions he has started from pole; the only race he has won from pole in 2012 was at the opening race of the year in Qatar. Lorenzo will be looking to win for the first time in the MotoGP class at Sepang.
• Dani Pedrosa is on the front row for the tenth successive race. Pedrosa will be hoping to win three successive races for the first time since moving up to the MotoGP class. The only other time Pedrosa has won three successive GP races was in the 250cc class in 2005.
• Andrea Dovizioso starts from the front row for just the third time this year. He has finished in the top four at the last nine successive races.
• Casey Stoner, who heads the second row of the grid, is going for his 38th MotoGP victory which would take him into fourth place in the all-time premier-class GP wins table, above Mike Hailwood.
• Cal Crutchlow has qualified in fifth place on the grid – the first time he has not been on the front row since the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
• Ben Spies is in the final place on the second row of the grid. Spies will be aiming to finish in the top four for the first time since the German Grand Prix.
• The highest placed Ducati rider in qualifying is Hector Barbera, who heads the third row - which is his best qualifying result since he was third on the grid at Mugello.
• Stefan Bradl has qualified in eighth place on the grid. Bradl has already had seven top-six finishes in his debut year in the MotoGP class.
• A six-time winner in Sepang, Valentino Rossi is in 11th place on the grid, which is the fourth time this year he has qualified outside the top ten.
• The top CRT rider in qualifying for the seventh time this year is Aleix Espargaro, in 12th place on the grid.
• Pol Espargaro starts from pole for the sixth time this year. Espargaro has finished on the podium at the last six successive races.
• Scott Redding is in second place on the grid, equalling his best ever qualifying result in Grand Prix racing and is his best qualifying result of 2012.
• Marc Marquez, who starts from the final place on the front row, has won eight races already in 2012 and if he wins in Malaysia he will equal the record for most wins in a season in the intermediate-class of Grand Prix racing by a Spanish rider, which is currently held by Jorge Lorenzo from 2007.
• Takaaki Nakagami heads the second row and will be aiming to become the first Japanese rider to finish on the podium in any of the three MotoGP classes since Yuki Takahashi was second in France last year.
• Johann Zarco starts from fifth place on the grid, which is his best qualifying result since the Italian GP at Mugello.
• Bradley Smith takes the final place on the second row – his best grid position since his home GP at Silverstone.
• Thomas Luthi, the winner of the Moto2 race last year in Malaysia, has qualified in eighth place on the grid.
• Zulfahmi Khairuddin is the first Malaysian rider to start from pole position in any class of Grand Prix racing. This is also the first pole by a non-European rider in the lightweight class of GP racing since Casey Stoner was on pole at Assen in 2004.
• Jonas Folger is in second place on the grid, which is only his second front row start of the year.
• Sandro Cortese starts from the front row for the ninth successive race. With Viñales not starting the race, a podium finish would guarantee the world championship for Cortese even if his closest remaining challenger Salom wins the race.
• Louis Rossi heads the second row of the grid, which is his best qualifying result since he was third fastest qualifier at the Catalan GP.
• Miguel Oliveira will start from fifth place on the grid – his best qualifying result since the Grand Prix of Catalunya.
• Luis Salom was fifth fastest in qualifying but due to a penalty will start from tenth place on the grid, which is his lowest grid position since the Dutch TT.
• If Danny Kent, who is in 11th place on the grid, wins the race it would be the first back-to-back GP wins by a British rider in any solo category since Barry Sheene in the 500cc class in 1977. Barry Sheene was also the last British rider to take back-to-back GP wins in the 125cc class in 1971.
-- MotoGP 2012 - Round 16 - Sepang
In a tight-fought qualifying session at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who stormed to a record pole position in front of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
The Spaniard’s new track record in the low 2.00s, giving him his seventh pole of the year, edged Repsol Honda Team’s title rival Dani Pedrosa into second spot on the grid, after the Honda rider had been the fastest in the preceding practices. The last place on the front row went to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who was on blistering pace all session, squeezing the maximum out of his satellite machine.
Heading row two in fourth is Pedrosa’s teammate Casey Stoner, with the
Australian seemingly struggling with bike set-up once more, although qualifying
less than half a second off the top. Next to him in fifth, Tech 3’s Cal
Crutchlow put in a solid performance, yet will no doubt be hoping to mirror his
teammate’s pace in the race tomorrow. Alongside him in sixth place is Yamaha’s
Ben Spies, who was on consistent form throughout the session, having recovered
from a mistake in the morning, yet could not quite match the speed of the Tech 3
The final top-ten spot went to San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, after a disappointing session for the Spaniard and his team, where he crashed out on his final run. Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, who also crashed in the morning practice, looked somewhat out of sorts finishing down in 11th. The CRT grid battle was won by Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró, who qualified in 12th just behind Rossi. Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez did not take part in qualifying and will not participate in the race tomorrow, after feeling the effects of his dislocated left shoulder too strongly yesterday.
Lorenzo could win his second premier-class title in Malaysia tomorrow, the same track he won his first 2010 title at, due to the fact he has a 28-point lead at the top of the championship standings. He would first of all have to win the race, but would also need a little help from Pedrosa, who could not finish any higher than 13th.
It was Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró who came out on top in a frantic Moto2™ qualifying session for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang to take pole position ahead of Scott Redding and Marc Márquez.
With conditions proving best for the grid early on in the session when track temperatures were not at their warmest, many of the front-runners set their hot laps at the start. Espargaró, who was already in the lead, pulled another fast lap out of the bag however at the end of the session to clinch his sixth pole position this year with a 2.06’962. Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding could not quite match the pace of the Spaniard, yet still managed his fifth front row start of the year in second. Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez, who could potentially clinch the title tomorrow, will line up in third.
Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami followed up his good form from the morning to end the day in fourth, and will see JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco line up next to him in fifth. Tech 3 Racing Team’s Bradley Smith, who was riding with two broken toes in his left foot sustained yesterday in a crash, did incredibly well to put his bike sixth on the grid for tomorrow. Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat heads row three in seventh, with Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi next to him in eighth. He is marginally ahead of NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis in ninth, after sticking with Redding throughout much of the session to post his fast time. Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter completes the top ten, with Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone behind in 11th, with the Italian still not back to his usual best.
Moto2™ qualifying was a crash-strewn affair, as Nakagami’s teammate Toni Elías was the first to drop his bike, followed by Tuenti’s Axel Pons, Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, Kiefer Racing’s Mike Di Meglio and Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón. Fortunately none of the riders were seriously hurt in the incidents.
The only man to stand in Márquez’s way of winning the Moto2™ title tomorrow is Espargaró, who could prevent it from happening by taking victory, as this would reduce Márquez’s current 53-point lead to less than the 50 required. If Espargaró finishes second then Márquez needs to win the race to take the title, however if Espargaró finishes third, then Márquez needs to finish fourth or better. As the positional scenarios drop, Márquez’s chances increase drastically, as, if Espargaró comes in fourth, Márquez needs to finish sixth or better, whilst if Espargaró finishes between fifth and twelfth, then Márquez can afford to finish no more than three places behind him. If however Espargaró finishes thirteenth or worse, Márquez will win the title in Malaysia even if he does not score any points.
Moto3™ qualifying for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang saw AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin clinch a historic maiden-pole position at his home grand prix in a fantastic display ahead of Jonas Folger and Sandro Cortese.
Khairuddin chose the best occasion to score a personal hat trick, consisting of his first-ever GP pole position, being the first Malaysian rider to get pole, and doing so on his 21st birthday. The Malaysian youngster found another gear as qualifying got underway, yet left it until the very last laps to put the hammer down to get pole with the fastest lap of the weekend so far with a 2.13’885.
Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jonas Folger, who had been the quickest rider in all the preceding practices, encountered some traffic on his final laps and just missed out on pole, while Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese suffered a similar fate on his hot laps. Heading the second row in fourth is Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi who increased his pace significantly in the afternoon qualifying, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira lining up next to him in fifth.
JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez carried over his solid form into the afternoon and completes the second row in sixth, whilst seventh spot went to surprise inclusion Brad Binder on his RW Racing GP machine. What made Binder’s feat all the more impressive was the fact that he missed a large part of the morning session due to an engine problem. In eighth, Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins managed to hold off Vázquez’s teammate Adrian Martín and last race winner, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Danny Kent, who will be hoping to fight for the podium once more tomorrow.
Despite having set the fifth fastest time of the session, Binder’s teammate Luis Salom will start from tenth, as he was given a five-spot grid penalty by Race Direction after his crash with Folger last time out in Motegi. Both Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati and Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb crashed in the session, but walked away unscathed.
Cortese has a great chance to take his first world title in tomorrow’s race, with first or second clinching the deal. With Maverick Viñales out of contention, Salom is the only man that could prevent it. If Salom wins the race, Cortese needs to finish second or third, yet if Salom finishes second, then Cortese only needs to finish sixth or better. Salom in third would see the German needing at least tenth place, while thirteenth would be sufficient if the Spaniard is fourth. If Salom finishes fifth, then Cortese needs to finish fifteenth or better, yet if Salom finishes lower than fifth then he cannot stop Cortese winning the title.
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo left it until the last moment this afternoon to smash the Sepang track record with a scorching pole position run ahead of tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Malaysia, his third successive pole in a row. The Championship leader had shown good pace from the start of the session but dropped off the provisional front row as a flurry of late laps saw a number of riders including Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa take the top spot. As the last minutes ticked away Lorenzo reclaimed the top spot from Pedrosa with a stunning 2’00.438 then immediately followed it with a flying final effort to deliver a new pole record for the Sepang circuit of 2’00.334.
Fellow Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies was quick to get on the pace in the session, climbing to fourth just off the front row and looking threatening to break into the top three. As the session wound down a succession of hot laps and pole position changes from rivals saw him drop to fifth and then sixth for a second row start on tomorrow’s grid.
Jorge Lorenzo / Position : 1st Time: 2'00.334 Laps: 23
Ben Spies / Position : 6th Time: 2'01.185 Laps: 22
Wilco Zeelenberg / Team Manager
Massimo Meregalli / Team Director
-- Repsol HRC Report
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from 2nd place on the front row, his thirteenth front row start of the season, as he pursues Lorenzo in the chase for the 2012 World Championship. Team mate Casey Stoner will start from 4th, missing out on the front row by just two tenths of a second.
In an intense Qualifying session, which fortunately remained dry, the riders traded the top four spots throughout the session in the end Dani lost out on pole by just 0.194 seconds to Championship rival Lorenzo. With less than half a second separating the top four riders, Casey was unfortunate to miss out on the front row as he fights to return to full strength in just his second GP after his absence from three races due to injury.
The weather will play an important role in tomorrow's 21 lap race as the race will start at 16h00 local time - a time when rain showers are a common occurrence.
DANI PEDROSA 2nd 2'00.528
CASEY STONER 4th 2'00.811
-- Ducati Report
Qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix left several question marks for both Ducati Team riders, who will have to decide during tomorrow’s morning warm-up session which tyre to use in the race.
Nicky Hayden, ninth today, will try some changes in order to reduce the chattering that bothered him today.
Valentino Rossi, eleventh, managed to lap at a decent rhythm with the hard tyre in qualifying, but having missed the chance to do more than just a few consecutive laps, he’ll try again in tomorrow morning’s twenty minute session before making a final decision.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th (2:01.526)
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (2:01.783)
-- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium
(Symmetric), Hard (Asymmetric)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set a new Fastest Lap record of 2’00.334 on his last qualifying lap at Sepang International Circuit to claim his seventh pole position of the season.
Lorenzo’s record lap was enough to depose Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa to second on the grid for tomorrow’s race by 0.194 seconds, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizoso qualified third and 0.233 seconds off Lorenzo’s time. The top CRT qualifier in Malaysia was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who qualified in twelfth place with a time of 2’02.842.
Track conditions were similar to yesterday, with track temperatures around 40°C and less than ideal grip levels due to heavy rain overnight and between today’s sessions. Teams assessed both options of front and rear tyre today, with the combination of the softer rear and harder front slick ultimately being the most widely used for qualifying. If similar weather conditions are experienced tomorrow the softer rear slick will be the popular race tyre choice, with front tyre choice coming down to which riders prefer the greater braking stability of the harder option versus the advantage in edge grip offered by the softer front slick.
Morning warm up for the Malaysian Grand Prix starts at 1140 local time (GMT +8) tomorrow with the twenty-lap main event commencing at 1600.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
- MotoGP World Championship 2012 -
RND 1 -
JORGE WINS QATAR
RND 2 - STONER CRACKS JEREZ
RND 3 -
STONER TAKES ESTORIL
RND 4 -
LORENZO WINS LE MANS
RND 5 - JORGE WINS AT HOME
RND 6 -
JORGE WINS SILVERSTONE
RND 7 -
STONER WINS ASSEN
RND 8 - PEDROSA WINS
RND 9 - LORENZO TAKES MUGELLO
RND 10 - CASEY WINS LAGUNA
RND 11 - PEDROSA WINS AT INDY
RND 12 - PEDROSA WINS BRNO
RND 13 - LORENZO PULLS AWAY
||RND 14 - DANI BOUNCES BACK||
RND 15 - DANI CLOSES THE GAP
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