Pedrosa takes pole as Rossi is sidelined by injury

2010-06-05 08:23
Dani Pedrosa will start the 2010 Gran Premio d'Italia TIM from pole position, his second of the season, after a superb late lap deposed current championship leader, Jorge Lorenzo, from the top of the timesheet.

"It's great to take pole here," declared Pedrosa. "We've been working very hard through free practice and in qualifying this afternoon to improve things from yesterday. We've achieved this, so I'm satisfied. Lorenzo will be the man to beat tomorrow, but we are confident that we are in better shape than for the last race in Le Mans. I think it will be a fun race tomorrow."

Lorenzo had taken provisional pole position with ten minutes of the session remaining, becoming the first rider of the weekend to get under the 1'49" barrier by four-thousandths of a second, but Pedrosa's effort means Lorenzo will go for his third straight win of the campaign from second position on the grid tomorrow.

"I am very happy about how my bike is feeling at Mugello," said Lorenzo. "I have a good race pace, the Bridgestone tyres feel good and I think I can make a fight tomorrow."

Joining the Spanish duo on the front row will be Casey Stoner, who overcame problems with his Ducati Desmosedici that have plagued him all weekend to jump up from ninth to third in the final moments of this afternoon's qualifying session, knocking his team-mate, Nicky Hayden, back to the second row of the grid.

"I'd love to say we're ready for the race tomorrow, but the reality is we're far from it," explained Stoner. "It was a bit if a banzai lap in qualifying to be honest; we still need to find around six tenths if we are to be competitive with Jorge and Dani tomorrow. But, if we can find something in warm-up, then we could be in a good position."

Hayden will start alongside Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet, who both enjoyed a positive qualifying session at a sun-drenched Mugello this afternoon.

Ben Spies will start his first MotoGP race at Mugello from seventh place, after an impressive weekend learning yet another new circuit, and Andrea Dovizioso will also be on the third row for his home race. Aleix Espargaró continued to improve on his satellite Pramac Ducati to claim ninth place, his best qualifying position to date, while another rookie, Hiroshi Aoyama, rounded out the top ten.

A notable absence from the session was Valentino Rossi. The reigning World Champion was taken to hospital earlier in the day after a crash in the morning practice, and will have an operation this evening on a fractured right tibia.

"I didn't see Rossi's crash, but what I've heard about the injury doesn't sound good," said Pedrosa. "I just hope the operation goes well for him, because the first operation is always the most important."

Andrea Iannone gave the home crowd something to cheer about at Mugello today, by taking pole position for the Moto2 race at the Italian circuit after a hectic qualifying session. Iannone's lap of 1'55.598 secured him the fourth pole of his career — his first in the new intermediate category — by a margin of 0.260s.

Joining him on the front row will be current championship leader Toni Elías who put in a hot final lap of the session to rise to second, having been much further down the timesheet for most of practice and qualifying. Alex de Angelis and Jules Cluzel were separated by just five-hundredths of a second in third and fourth, as they completed the front row.

Shoya Tomizawa, who is lying second in the overall standings and 18 points off Elías going into tomorrow's race, will lead the second row after setting the fifth best time, with Sergio Gadea, Gabor Talmacsi and Axel Pons also inside the top eight. Talmacsi had a fall towards the end of the session, which severely damaged his bike, but left the former 125cc World Champion uninjured

Thomas Lüthi and Julián Simón also set top-ten times, with the latter sliding out at the very end of the session but returning to his bike immediately.

Sandro Cortese will start tomorrow's 125cc race from pole position, after stealing the number one slot on the grid from Pol Espargaró right at the end of this afternoon's qualifying session. Espargaró was unable to respond, having crashed without injury with just ten minutes of the session left to run.

Bancaja Aspar team-mates Bradley Smith and current World Championship leader Nico Terol complete the front row, as both came within three-tenths of the top time.

Randy Krummenacher, Marc Márquez, Esteve Rabat and Efrén Vázquez will all be present on the second row after good qualification performances, although Vázquez experienced a fall at the very end of the session.

Johann Zarco and Tomoyoshi Koyama were inside the top ten, with British rider Danny Webb 13th. There were crashes for Adrián Martín and Luigi Morciano.

Source: Dorna

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