Skip to main content

Bautista breaks top-three's grip on MotoGP pole

June 16, 2012 -- Updated 2021 GMT (0421 HKT)
Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista celebrates after securing pole position during Saturday's final qualifying session at Silverstone.
Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista celebrates after securing pole position during Saturday's final qualifying session at Silverstone.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish motorcyclist Alvaro Bautista earns his first top-level pole position
  • He will head the grid for Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone
  • It is his team's first pole position since Marco Simoncelli a year ago
  • He breaks stranglehold of sport's top three riders since Assen last June

(CNN) -- Alvaro Bautista will start a MotoGP race from first on the grid for the first time in his short top-level career after outshining motorcycling's big names in qualifying for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The 27-year-old gave the San Carlo Honda Gresini team its first pole position since the late Marco Simoncelli topped the timesheets at Assen just over a year ago.

The Spaniard, whose best race finish is fifth since his debut in motorcycling's elite class in 2010, headed off Yamaha's American rider Ben Spies and Repsol Honda's world champion Casey Stoner at Silverstone on Saturday.

It is the first time since that Dutch race last June that pole has not been won by Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo or Dani Pedrosa

Honda's world champion Casey Stoner won 10 of the 17 completed races in MotoGP last season, including the finale in Valencia. He is hoping to retain his Qatar race title in Sunday's season opener. Honda's world champion Casey Stoner won 10 of the 17 completed races in MotoGP last season, including the finale in Valencia. He is hoping to retain his Qatar race title in Sunday's season opener.
Stoner on track for 2012 glory
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Bike stars gear up for MotoGP 2012 Bike stars gear up for MotoGP 2012
Mourners lay flowers in Marco Simoncelli's hometown of Coriano as a sign of their respect for the former Honda rider. Mourners lay flowers in Marco Simoncelli's hometown of Coriano as a sign of their respect for the former Honda rider.
In memory of Simoncelli
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Funeral of Marco Simoncelli Funeral of Marco Simoncelli
Remembering fallen MotoGP star

"I'm really happy for myself and also pleased for the team. This pole position hasn't happened by coincidence -- it is the fruit of a lot of hard work from all the guys who have all been giving 100% and sometimes a little more," Bautista.

"The conditions today were strange and difficult but we managed to find a good setting, I was up front for the whole session and set my fastest lap on my own.

"It started to rain for the last few minutes and nobody was able to improve their time but I still had a fresh tire to use and made a couple of mistakes on my best lap, so could have gone faster too. Tomorrow I start on pole and have a good race pace, so hopefully we can convert it into a good result."

Series leader Lorenzo will head the second row for Yamaha, almost half a second off Bautista's fastest time, with Honda's Pedrosa fourth and another Spaniard -- Hector Barbera on a Ducati -- setting the fifth quickest lap.

American rider Nicky Hayden was seventh fastest, with his seven-time world champion teammate Valentino Rossi back in 10th after another disappointing session.

Lorenzo, the 2010 world champion, leads Stoner by 20 points in the championship standings after winning three of five races so far this season -- including the last two in France and Catalunya.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
ADVERTISEMENT