The 2012 MotoGP Qatar qualifying session saw Jorge Lorenzo take the pole position from Casey Stoner in Qatar. The last time that the Yamaha rider was on the pole at the Losail circuit was four year’s ago in his MotoGP debut year in 2008. Casey Stoner hit the top of the charts early on as usual, it was his third lap out and with hard tires blasted out a 1’55.415 leaving the rest of the field gasping for almost half the session, but when it was time to mount the softer tires Jorge Lorenzo put the hammer down and was the first rider to dip under the 1.55s to then put in a blazing flyer in 1.54.634, more than enough to keep both and Stoner and Cal Crutchlow at bay. Stoner was slightly upset with his second place as he stamped out 1’54″855 three minutes before the chequered flag, but on the softer tires his performance was slightly less convincing than his rival’s, but that was due to the return of chatter problems, but tomorrow’s race will be on hard tires and on those Stoner is devastatingly fast, despite his issues.

Cal Crutchlow has completely gelled with the Yamaha M1 1000 with some spectacular flying laps. The Brit will be closing the front row in third and he was just a little more than three tenths from his Yamaha factory counterpart. Ben Spies took fourth and closed the qualifying session with a front end crash that he desperately tried to save with his knee and holding on, but finally and sagely decided to let his Yamaha go into the gravel pits. Next to Spies will be Ducati’s best rider of the evening, Nicky Hayden. The American may be a second from Lorenzo, but he’s on the second row and not Valentino Rossi. The Italian had one of the most disastrous qualifying sessions ever. He not only qualified in 12th, he was also the last MotoGP rider before the all the CRTs a just head of Colin Edwards on the BMW-Suter was just 0.831s from him. You can bet Rossi will be getting a telephone call from Gabriele Del Torchio this evening as well as one from Marlboro’s Maurizio Arrivabene.

Andrea Dovizioso was 6th, while his former Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa did not have a good session, he managed a 7th place on his last flying lap, but he is 1.2 seconds from Lorenzo. Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl and Karel Abraham closed out the top ten, with the Czech riding crashing out in the final minute. The CRTs had rough time of it in qualifying, Yonny Hernandez, Danilo Petrucci, Randy De Puniet, James Ellison and Mattia Pasini all had crashes, with Pasini’s ART bike catching fire which was promptly put out.

MotoGP Qatar Qualifying results
  1. Jorge Lorenzo — Yamaha Factory Racing — Yamaha YZR M1 — 1’54.634
  2. Casey Stoner — Repsol Honda Team — Honda RC213V — + 0.221
  3. Cal Crutchlow — Monster Yamaha Tech 3 — Yamaha YZR M1 — + 0.388
  4. Ben Spies — Yamaha Factory Racing — Yamaha YZR M1 — + 0.878
  5. Nicky Hayden — Ducati Team — Ducati Desmosedici GP12 — + 1.003
  6. Andrea Dovizioso — Monster Yamaha Tech 3 — Yamaha YZR M1 — + 1.224
  7. Dani Pedrosa — Repsol Honda Team — Honda RC213V — + 1.271
  8. Hector Barbera — Pramac Racing Team — Ducati Desmosedici GP12 — + 1.349
  9. Stefan Bradl — LCR Honda MotoGP — Honda RC213V — + 1.429
  10. Karel Abraham — Cardion AB Motoracing — Ducati Desmosedici GP12 — + 1.564
  11. Alvaro Bautista — San Carlo Honda Gresini — Honda RC213V — + 1.887
  12. Valentino Rossi — Ducati Team — Ducati Desmosedici GP12 — + 2.179
  13. Colin Edwards — NGM Mobile Forward Racing — Suter BMW — + 3.010
  14. Randy De Puniet — Power Electronics Aspar — ART GP12 — + 3.632
  15. Aleix Espargaro — Power Electronics Aspar — ART GP12 — + 3.886
  16. Yonny Hernandez — Avintia Blusens — FTR Kawasaki — + 4.161
  17. Michele Pirro — San Carlo Honda Gresini — FTR Honda — + 4.451
  18. Mattia Pasini — Speed Master Team — ART GP12 — + 4.561
  19. Danilo Petrucci — CAME Iodaracing Project — Ioda TR003 — + 5.030
  20. Ivan Silva — Avintia Blusens — FTR Kawasaki — + 5.859
  21. James Ellison — Paul Bird Motorsport — ART GP12 — + 6.123