Pedrosa makes it fantastic four with Valencia pole2007-11-03 10:38
Dani Pedrosa made it four pole positions in a row this afternoon with a flying lap of the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The Spaniard is looking for his first home victory in MotoGP at tomorrow's Gran Premio bwin.com de la Comunitat Valenciana, and looks in strong shape for a challenge onboard his Repsol Honda machinery. He clocked a time of 1'31.517 in the final moments of the afternoon session.
A win and Valentino Rossi's failure to score points tomorrow would see Pedrosa take second place in the final standings for the season, and Rossi may be an absentee from proceedings after a nasty crash at the start of the session. The Fiat Yamaha man suffered fractures to the little finger, ulnar styloid and pyramidal of his right hand, and could perhaps miss his first Grand Prix since his 125cc debut back in 1996.
2007 World Champion Casey Stoner joins his former 250cc rival on the front row, trailing Pedrosa by less than a tenth of a second. His consistent form in qualifying this year, which has seen him on the first line of attack on twelve occasions, secured the Australian a brand new sports car as the winner of the BMW M Award for combined times over the course of the season.
Struggling with race tyres, 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden will line up alongside his team-mate and title successor courtesy of a spectacular turnaround with qualifiers. The American dropped 2.5 seconds off his race tyre best with his Michelin specials, needing consistency in the 30 lap race tomorrow afternoon as he chases a solitary victory to complete his title-defending year.
Bidding farewell to Kawasaki after a final race for 'Team Green', Randy de Puniet continued his recent spell of qualifying form to lead the second row. He is joined by the Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 pairing of Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada, who are also moving on to pastures new. The duo benefited from some extended runs with qualifying tyres over the past two days, giving the team their first ever double presence on row two.
John Hopkins, Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa line up on the third row, with Marco Melandri completing the top ten.
At the track where KTM took their first 250cc pole last season, Mika Kallio kept up the tradition with the second top spot of his rookie quarter litre season. He denied newly crowned World Champion Jorge Lorenzo a final pole of his 250cc career with a lap of 1'35.166, the Spaniard missing out on pole by just 0.167 and unable to equal his previous best of ten in a single season.
Yuki Takahashi took his first front row of the year at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, a line that is rounded off by Marco Simoncelli. Home rider Hector Barbera, who celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday and has renewed with Team Toth for next season, heads the second row, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Julian Simon and Alex Debon.
The final two riders in the top ten have a tough task ahead of them if they are to end their 250cc stay on a high. Alex de Angelis and Andrea Dovizioso, third and second respectively in the World Championship, move up to MotoGP at the end of the year.
In a fitting finale for the 125cc class, the two riders battling for the World Championship in an all-or-nothing showdown at Valencia will line up alongside each other on the front row tomorrow. Series leader Gabor Talmacsi took his fifth pole position of the season with a 1'39.029 lap, with team-mate Hector Faubel, the only rider capable of denying Talmacsi the title, right beside him on the starting line.
It is the 11th time that the duo have been on the front row together this season, and this time there is a twist in the tale in the form of third Aspar rider Sergio Gadea. The Spaniard is strongly motivated to win his home race, but must be careful not to get himself involved in the title fight. It is the second all-Aspar top three of the year, the first being at Catalunya with the same order.
The trio are joined by Lukas Pesek on the front row, with the Czech rider gunning for third in the championship this weekend. His rival for the position, KTM's Tomoyoshi Koyama, could only qualify 15th this afternoon.
Pablo Nieto heads the second row, ahead of Simone Corsi, Nico Terol and Mattia Pasini, who competes in his last 125cc race tomorrow before moving up to 250cc next year.
Source: Dorna Communications
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