MotoGP Laguna Seca Quali Results & Report: Lorenzo Steals Pole from Stoner at the End


What Happens When the Final Moments Are As Exciting As You’d Like

10:01pm EST — It was another Jorge Lorenzo-Casey Stoner show during qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, with the young Spaniard having the speed when it counted, winning pole at the end of the hour qualifying session with the only lap time of the weekend to break into the 1:20s.  Andrea Dovizioso will make the first front row start of his premier class career with the third fastest time.  His teammate Dani Pedrosa qualified fourth, before the fastest American Ben Spies.  Spies benefited from actual track knowledge and the subsequent ability to make set-up changes on Friday instead of spending early sessions learning the circuit.  Still healing Valentino Rossi managed sixth as the cheese in an American, Italian, American, American sandwich with Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards to start seventh and eighth.  Rookies Marco Simoncelli and Hector Barbera rounded out the top ten.

Lorenzo was the early leader, with Pedrosa and Stoner challenging.  Halfway through the session, though, Stoner took charge.  Spies also looked very speedy with just over twenty minutes left, jumping to third fastest, behind Stoner, lorenso and ahead of Dovi, Pedrosa, Edwards, Hayden, Rossi, Melandri, and Espargaro as the top ten.  With fifteen minutes left, Stoner still led, with Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Spies, Dovizioso, Rossi, Edwards, Hayden, Simoncelli, and Melandri behind.  Rossi had improved from ninth to sixth. 

It was the final ten minutes where the action truly began, however, as Lorenzo and Stoner traded fast laps.  Lorenzo kept setting quick times, but Stoner kept coming close as well.  With four minutes left, he took the lead with a lap time nearly three tenths faster than Lorenzo.  He could not match the Australian’s time on his next lap, and improved again on the next, but still Lorenzo could not make up the one tenth to catch Stoner.  Teammate Rossi moved up to fourth as Lorenzo managed to take pole by being the first man into the 1:20s for the weekend.  Doviziosos took third from teammate Pedrosa, whilst Spies forced Rossi back to sixth after the checkered flag.  During the final moments of qualifying, Mika Kallio had an off at the top of the corkscrew.  He appeared to be fine, walking over and checking on his bike.

Provisional Starting Positions for the 2010 United States Grand Prix:
1. Lorenzo 1:20.978
2. Stoner 1:21.169
3. Dovizioso 1:21.617
4. Pedrosa 1:21.655
5. Spies 1:21.679
6. Rossi 1:21.688
7. Hayden 1:21.920
8. Edwards 1:22.217
9. Simoncelli 1:22.300
10. Barbera 1:22.366
11. Melandri 1:22.407
12. Capirossi 1:22.647
13. Espargaro 1:22.712
14. Bautista 1:22.770
15. Kallio 1:23.127
16. de Angelis 1:23.226
17. Hayden 1:23.764

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