Honda pole for Mugello MotoGP
PERFECT ANGLE: Spain's Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) cranked right over during Saturday morning practice ahead of qualifying for the 2012 Italian MotoGP at Mugello. He qualified second. Image: AFP
Mugello, Italy - Dani Pedrosa (Honda), winner at the German MotoGP a week earlier, took pole position for the Sunday's 2012 Italilan MotoGP with a time of 1min47.284.
It was Pedrosa's second pole of the season for a race which will have an all-Spanish front row with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) second (1min47.423) at and Hector Barbera (Pramac) third (1min47.545) and set for his first front-row start.
Qualifying at the Mugello track was run in bright sunshine on a superb dry track with just a gentle breeze stirring the trees.
The rest of the top 10 were (in order) Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1min47.671, Casey Stoner (Honda) 1min47.689, Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1min47.749, Andea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1min47.751, Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1min47.857 , Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1min48.149 and Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1min48.502.
THE BREAKFAST RUN - aka morning practice...
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo of Spain dominated practice on his Yamaha during morning practice despite windy conditions during the first two sessions on Friday ahead of this weekend's Italian MotoGP
Lorenzo, winner on the Mugello circuit last season, clocked a fastest lap of 1min48.076, despite an early run-off into the gravel, with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa second-quickest on a Honda, at 0.031sec behind Lorenzo.
US Ducati rider Nicky Hayden was third fastest at 0.081.
Lorenzo said afterwards: "I'm really happy because from the beginning we've been quite fast. We haven't had to make many changes to the bike, the feeling is great with the track and it's working well.
"I feel good with the suspension, throttle and braking. Everything seems quite clear, we have to work on some small details but we've made an excellent beginning."
Spaniard Hector Barbera of Ducati came back after a crash mid-way through the session, which was briefly red-flagged, to set the fourth-fastest time.
Fifth went to Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso, bidding for a fourth podium finish this season – and at his home race. Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner finished the day sixth, with Lorenzo's team mate Ben Spies seventh.
In eighth during the morning Dovizioso's team mate Cal Crutchlow was just more than a half-second off the front and the battle looked set to be heated on the Tuscany track.
Ducati's Valentino Rossi, a seven-times winner at home from 2002 to 2008, was ninth fastest.
Moto3 qualifying times
1 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Honda 1min57.980
2 Sandro Cortese (Germany) KTM 1min58.401
3 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 1min58.821
4 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 1min58.840
5 Danny Kent (Britain) KTM 1min59.089
6 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda 1min59.361
7 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Malaysia) KTM 1min59.391
8 Romano Fenati (Italy) Honda 1min59.465
9 Luis Salom (Spain) Kalex 1min59.473
10 Hector Faubel (Spain) Kalex 1min59.573
Moto2 qualifying times
1 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Kalex 1min52.369
2 Marc Marquez (Spain) Suter 1min52.438
3 Johann Zarco (France) Motobi 1min52.781
4 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Speed up 1min52.835
5 Alex de Angelis (San Marino) Suter 1min52.883
6 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 1min52.946
7 Bradley Smith (Britain) Tech 3 1min53.029
8 Scott Redding (Britain) Kalex 1min53.059
9 Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 1min53.090
10 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 1min53.152