Andrea Dovizioso, who currently sits in fourth place overall in the MotoGP championship standings, will join Nicky Hayden on the team. The pair will face next season together, working on development of the Desmosedici and the MotoGP project for the championship in which Ducati has played an important role since 2003.
-Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the second successive race. He will be aiming to become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2001 to win the opening two races of the year in the premier class.
-Dani Pedrosa, who starts from second place on the grid, has finished either first or second in all six appearances at Jerez in the MotoGP class. Pedrosa is making his 100th start in the MotoGP category.
-Nicky Hayden is third fastest qualifier, which is his first front row start since the Portuguese GP in 2010. This is also the first front row start for a Ducati rider since Casey Stoner was on pole at the final race of 2010 in Valencia.
-Cal Crutchlow heads the second row and will be aiming to be the first British rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class since Jeremy McWilliams was third in the 500cc race at Donington in 2000.
-Casey Stoner is fifth on the grid, which is his worst starting position since joining the Honda factory team at the beginning of last year.
-Taking the final place on the second row of the grid is Ben Spies, who has not managed to finish on his previous two MotoGP appearances at Jerez.
-Andrea Dovizioso heads the third row, making it four Yamaha riders in the top seven on the grid for the second successive race.
-Eighth-fastest qualifier Alvaro Bautista missed the Jerez race last year with injuries
sustained in the opening GP of 2011 in Qatar.
-The best of the CRT riders on the grid is Randy de Puniet in tenth, who has qualified in front of three of the Ducati riders.
-Valentino Rossi, who is thirteenth fastest qualifier, will be making his 200th start in the MotoGP class; the only two other riders to have reached this milestone are Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi.
WINNER – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)
“What an amazing race! I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying. Casey was very strong at the beginning and opened a gap. Fortunately for us he struggled at the end and dropped his pace where I could keep mine so I managed to pass him. I am very grateful to Yamaha because they have made a big step this winter on the YZR-M1.”
1st – Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda), 1’56.474
“The track tonight wasn’t so bad, I expected the conditions to be much worse but in general it was ok. We started this evening with huge chatter issues and I was a little afraid we couldn’t fix this but after a few more exits we managed to reduce it to a more comfortable level. This is a positive point for the weekend but with such a short session and then nothing until tomorrow it’s slightly strange. It was an ok start tonight, we finished quickest which is good but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for some real track time and with the conditions a little better and see where we are”.
A weather-hit three-day MotoGP test session at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia ended in positive fashion for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow today.
Torrential rain on the first and second day restricted the track time available to Dovizioso and Crutchlow but both took advantage of hot, humid and dry conditions on the final day to carry out crucial development work on the new Yamaha YZR-M1 1000cc machine.
Dovizioso was in dazzl ing form and the Italian completed 54-laps on his way to setting a best time of 2.00.802 that left him in an outstanding third place on the final timesheets. He was only 0.329s behind reigning World Champion Casey Stoner in first position and he finished the fastest non-factory rider.