dani pedrosa MotoGP Mugello qualifying report and standings

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa beat his own qualifying lap record at Mugello to claim his first pole position of the season in an enthralling day of action in Italy. Pedrosa’s lap time of 1’47.157 came on his last lap and relegated Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo – who also lapped under the existing qualifying lap record today to second place by 0.069 seconds. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ensured three different manufacturers at the front of the grid and plenty of smiles for the Italian fans with a best lap time of 1’47.628 that settled him in third place. Having entered directly into QP2 after a strong performance in FP3 this morning, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the best qualifier among the CRT entries, setting a time of 1’48.765 to qualify in P12.

The morning cloud cover lifted for the afternoon sessions, with dry track conditions and a peak track temperature of 44°C offering excellent conditions for the time attack in qualifying. The temperatures experienced today were still lower than historically recorded at Mugello, so all riders preferred using the softer rear slick option for greater grip and warm-up performance in combination with the harder front slick that gives superior front-end stability. It is expected that if the dry conditions prevail tomorrow that this same combination of slick tyres will be widely used.

Jorge Lorenzo

“We still suffer a little bit when the weather is hotter, we don’t have the same grip. Even with this issue we have been competitive though, in the free practice and also in the qualifying. I was surprised to be so fast in the first lap when I made a 47.6. I was also surprised about the lap time from Marquez on his first try and also the lap time from Dani. I thought the 47.2 lap was enough for pole position but Dani was faster so it wasn’t. The important thing is to make a good start tomorrow, to get in front and to go away if possible. If not possible, the race is long and we have to be consistent. We have to improve some small details but in general the bike is better here than at the other tracks.”

Valentino Rossi

“The practices are not so bad because we have a good pace for the race which is important. As always in the qualifying we suffer more than the others. They use the slipstream of the others and are able to go a bit faster than me. Unfortunately I have to start on the third row but I’m quite happy because my pace is quite good so I think with a good start I can do a good race. We will see tomorrow.”

Cal Crutchlow

“That was certainly another eventful qualifying session and after crashing out I can’t complain too much to finish fourth and be only 0.004s away from the front row. Luckily I could make it back to the paddock pretty quickly and get out on the second bike and to be on the second row is a good result given what happened. I have been struggling all weekend with the bike to be honest. And although this is my third year at this track, I still don’t feel so comfortable, so to be near the front and not running a bad pace gives me confidence for the race. I need to improve in the first sector and that was my biggest issue yesterday, so we have work to do. It is going to be a long and tough race and we need to make the bike work better. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing an awesome job to help me find the best setting and hopefully I can be fighting for the podium again tomorrow like I was in Le Mans.”

Dani Pedrosa

“Today the track conditions were good, the tyres worked well and we improved the bike. All this helped us a lot to increase our pace and this is the most important thing. Qualifying was difficult, because we were behind for a large part of the session, but we managed a great last lap and took pole. Now we have some ideas to improve the bike for tomorrow and hope to have a strong race.”

 Marc Marquez

“Sixth place today was the best that we could have hoped for and I am very happy with this result. At the end of qualifying I was able to put in a hot lap, but the race tomorrow is going to be difficult and tough. I won’t be 100% physically, because I’m bruised and sore. My shoulder is bothering me the most, and we will see how it responds tomorrow. We are going to give our all, in any case, and see where we end up.”

Andrea Dovizioso

“It feels incredible to make it onto the first row at Mugello, especially as a Ducati rider! It was one of my goals, but I still can’t believe it, particularly after yesterday’s crash. The Clinica Mobile and my physiotherapist did a really good job of making my neck feel better, which gave me the opportunity to push hard in qualifying. It still bothers me, but I can push at almost 100%, and because yesterday I didn’t even know if I’d be able to race, I’m very happy. We worked really well this morning, improving the set up a little, and I was pretty fast this afternoon, but when the tyres wear a little our pace isn’t good enough to fight for the podium. Anyway, we’ll try to do our best to get a good result tomorrow for Ducati and all our fans.”

Nicky Hayden

“Today didn’t go as well as I had expected, and I’m not happy to be eighth. I was almost a half-second faster in qualifying here last year, and I was also better in the test we did here a month ago. I haven’t been able to get the grip I need to make the bike turn. Both ends are moving around a bit at the apex, and I’m getting pumping on the exit. The bike was improved for qualifying, but I still wasn’t able to do a good enough lap to get on the first two rows. We just need to see where I can improve and try to do something better tomorrow.”

2013 MotoGP Mugello qualifying timings

  1. Daniel Pedrosa – Honda – 1’47.157
  2. Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha – 1’47.226
  3. Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati – 1’47.628
  4. Cal Crutchlow – Yamaha – 1’47.632
  5. Stefan Bradl – Honda – 1’47.737
  6. Marc Marquez – Honda – 1’47.763
  7. Valentino Rossi – Yamaha – 1’47.872
  8. Nicky Hayden – Ducati – 1’48.006
  9. Alvaro Bautista – Honda – 1’48.355
  10. Michele Pirro – Ducati – 1’48.564
  11. Bradley Smith – Yamaha – 1’48.706
  12. Andrea Iannone – Ducati – 1’49.265
  13. Randy De Puniet – ART – 1’49.266
  14. Hector Barbera – FTR – 1’49.847
  15. Danilo Petrucci – Ioda-Suter – 1’50.518