Simoncelli soars to first pole at Catalunya

Marco Simoncelli shot into a surprise pole position in the last 30 seconds of qualifying, pulling out a fast lap of 1’42.413 in front of the Casey Stoner, who had otherwise lead the entire qualifying session, but was relegated to second. Stoner, who holds both the best pole position time and the fastest lap at the Montmelo track, qualified just 0.016s behind the Italian. Last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo completed the first row with a third fastest time of 1’42.728.

Ben Spies was in top form, just missing out on a front-row start by a margin of 0.014s, having held second in the timings with 3 minutes remaining. Spies will head the second row, in front of Repsol Honda rival Andrea Dovizioso. Finishing the second row is Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who matched his previous best grid position of 2011 in sixth.

The Ducati Team duo head up the third row, with Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) ahead of Nicky Hayden for the first time this weekend, followed by �lvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who finished fifth here last year and won the 250 race in 2009.

Completing the top ten in the session were Hector Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in ninth position followed by Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), who ran off the track earlier and was not able to better his best qualifying position of the season of tenth.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) had an early crash at the start of the session, and rejoined the session after a medical check to finish in 15th.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) will not be participating in this round due to injuries.

Qualifying Results
1 Marco Simoncelli 1'42.413 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
2 Casey Stoner 1'42.429 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 1'42.728 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
4 Ben Spies 1'42.742 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
5 Andrea Dovizioso 1'42.749 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Cal Crutchlow 1'43.202 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Valentino Rossi 1'43.223 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
8 Nicky Hayden 1'43.228 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
9 Alvaro Bautista 1'43.447 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
10 Hector Barbera 1'43.656 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
11 Hiroshi Aoyama 1'43.734 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
12 Randy De Puniet 1'43.764 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Loris Capirossi 1'44.068 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
14 Toni Elias 1'44.510 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
15 Karel Abraham 1'45.661 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing

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