MotoGP Valencia Quali Results & Full Report: Stoner Wins Pole, Lorenzo Challenges, Rossi Miraculously to Start 4th

What Happens When It’s the Lorenzo/Stoner, Stoner/Lorenzo Show

10:01am EST — Casey Stoner won pole for the 2010 Grand Prix of Valencia, holding off Jorge Lorenzo as he had done in most of the practice sessions.  It was a relatively uneventful qualifying, with Stoner keeping the pole through the final five mintes after the two had traded it back and forth.  Marco Simoncelli will start third, in the position he held much of the session, with a surprise final run catapulting Rossi from eleventh to fourth.  Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies (with an injured ankle), and Colin Edwards will have an American conference on the grid, starting fifth through seventh.  Dani Pedrosa, still recovering from his collarbone, was fifth fastest for a good portion of qualifying, but will start eighth.

Stoner and Lorenzo traded fastest times in the three practice sessions at Valencia, with Stoner’s 1:32.664 the fastest of all on Saturday morning.  Stoner was fastest over Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, and Rossi by over a half second on the new champion on Friday morning.  Friday afternoon, Stoner ceded control to Lorenzo, as the younger rider was fastest early in the session and unable to be caught by the fastest five behind him: Stoner, Edwards, Simoncelli, and Dovizioso.  Saturday morning, Stoner led again, this time by just under three tenths, over a still recovering Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Simoncelli, and Spies, also recovering, from a dislocated ankle suffered at Estoril.  Rossi was ninth and tenth fastest in the final two practices.

de Puniet took an early lead in the forty-five minutes of qualifying, followed by Hayden, Rossi, Melandri, and Checa just five minutes into the session.  Stoner soon took that away from the Frenchman, as did Melandri and Rossi.  By his third lap, Lorenzo was second fastest, following Stoner’s 1:32.666 time.  Then the Australian took a small detour through the gravel.  Ten minutes into qualifying, Stoner, Lorenzo, Hayden, Simoncelli, and Rossi were the fastest five, though Simoncelli and Hayden would quickly switch places.  Pedrosa then displaced Rossi for fifth fastest.  With a half hour still to go, Stoner led Lorenzo, Simoncelli, Hayden, Pedrosa, Rossi, Melandri, de Puniet, Edwards, and Dovizioso as the top ten. 

With twenty minutes to go, Lorenzo (1:32.517), Stoner, Simoncelli, de Puniet, Hayden, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Rossi, Melandri, and Barbera were the top ten, as Lorenzo had just taken pole from Stoner.  Edwards was on a charge, moving up to third fastest with sixteen minutes to go, just under two tenths off of Lorenzo’s time, and about four hundredths off of Stoner’s.  He was joined by Hayden, moving back up to fourth fastest.  Rossi was down in ninth.  Spies also joined the American party, moving up to sixth, then being dropped to seventh by Simoncelli.  The Italian had moved up to second, with just under ten minutes left, following Lorenzo, with Stoner, Edwards, and Pedrosa rounding out the top five.  Hayden and Spies were sixth and seventh while Rossi languished in ninth, followed by Dovizioso.  Lorenzo bettered his own time, 1:32.130, but appeared to have little competition for pole with just six minutes left.

Spies overtook Hayden in time to start sixth while the top five remained unchanged with five minutes to run.  Stoner, however, took the top with a 1:31.866, nearly three tenths faster than Lorenzo.  Hayden and Spies both leapfrogged Edwards and Pedrosa, to put Hayden in fourth and Spies fifth.  Rossi was eleventh, though he moved well up to fourth just as the flag was waved.  Stoner bettered his own time, but there did wasn’t a last moment challenge from Lorenzo to have worried about.

Qualifying Times for the Grand Prix of Valencia:
1. Stoner 1:31.799
2. Lorenzo 1:32.130
3. Simoncelli 1:32.244
4. Rossi 1:32.330
5. Hayden 1:32.422
6. Spies 1:32.566
7. Edwards 1:32.579
8. Pedrosa 1:32.603
9. Dovizioso 1:32.866
10. Melandri 1:32.917
11. de Puniet 1:32.925
12. Esparagro 1:33.085
13. Barbera 1:33.170
14. Capirossi 1:33.339
15. Aoyama 1:33.343
16. Checa 1:33.499
17. Bautista 1:33.515


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