Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo scored a front row position with second place in this afternoon’s qualifying for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion was on typical form for the 15 minute qualifying heat, ensuring he was the first man on track as the session began. Wasting no time, the first flying lap saw him smash the all-time record for the circuit with an impressive 1’38.648 second lap. Lorenzo’s hold on the top spot was short lived as championship rival Marc Marquez then moved into first however he was determined to hold the front row. After a stop for a fresh rear tyre he returned to the track with six minutes to go and delivered another hot lap, dropping his time to 1’38.471 to secure second place on the grid for the race.
Valentino Rossi endured a frustrating qualifying this afternoon, unable to find a set up with his YZR-M1 to challenge with the frontrunners. Rossi initially managed a 1’40.315 second lap to take ninth on his first outing before returning to the pits for fresh rubber. His second outing on track saw him improve considerably, taking a second off his time to lap in 1’39.356 seconds. Despite the improvement the time was not enough to move up the grid so the nine time champion will start from ninth on the third row of the grid tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo 2nd / 1’38.471 / 8 laps
“I’m happy with the pace, it’s not bad. We still don’t know how well our rivals are prepared for the race but I think I have a constant pace to finish the race with a good speed. The bike has improved by some small details every session so I’m happy with that also. I’m happy to be back on the first row and confident we can fight for the podium. You can see that Marc, Dani and Stefan are really strong, normally we are with them but it’s clear that this track is not so suitable for our bike, but it’s much better than it was in 2011. I am confident that we can fight to be not far from first position or maybe to fight for first.”
Valentino Rossi 9th / 1’39.356 / 8 laps
“I’m disappointed because in the practice we weren’t fantastic but better than we were this afternoon. Unfortunately in the fifteen minutes of the qualifying practice the other guys were able to improve more. Especially they are able to improve in braking and corner entry. Jorge did a fantastic job! I tried but when I put on the soft tyre I have more problems with the front and I cannot push a lot. I just managed to improve my time a bit from the used tyre when we had done already fifteen laps. Anyway, we have to look forward and try to improve tomorrow. My pace is nothing fantastic but it’s better than 9th position so I have to try to recover some positions and make a good race.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We are very happy with the first row because we’ve come a long way from the last two races of injuries. Being on the front row for what is normally a difficult race for us is good. The bike is working well and improving step by step, the team has worked hard to understand what to do and where to get the time. Jorge pushed hard in qualifying and his pace is good so hopefully tomorrow we can fight for the podium again.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“An impressive lap from Jorge, I think he has really proved once again that he has the speed. For sure tomorrow is not going to be an easy race but we expect to be there. In the practices we have found good information and I think we will try something else tonight to test in the warm up, in order to be ready for the race. Starting from the first row here is very important and I think tomorrow we will see him fighting as usual. Unfortunately Vale had some difficulties in the qualifying practice. It will be hard for him, he has to really attack from the beginning of the race but he has the capability to do that. Let’s see what we can put together tonight and what we can do tomorrow.”
Crutchlow and Smith confident for Brickyard battle
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith are confident they have the speed to battle for top positions in tomorrow’s MotoGP race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Crutchlow narrowly missed out on clinching a fantastic fifth front row start in the 2013 campaign and he will start the 27-lap race from fourth position on the grid.
The 27-year-old clocked a best time of 1.38.502 that looked to have secured him a fourth front row in the last five races, only for Spaniard Dani Pedrosa to bump him out of third spot by just 0.017s in the closing moments of QP2. Crutchlow remains optimistic that he can battle with Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Pedrosa in tomorrow’s race, as he goes in search of a fifth rostrum of the season to strengthen his Championship challenge.
Rookie Smith’s outstanding qualifying form continued in hot conditions this afternoon, the 22-year-old securing a top 10 position on the grid for the fourth consecutive race.
Smith, who starts tomorrow’s race looking to move into the top 10 in the World Championship standings, set a best time of 1.39.255 that at one stage looked set to secure him a place on the second row for only the second time this season. Today’s result though further underlined Smith’s growing experience and confidence with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machinery and he was able claim the notable scalps of Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi’s in this afternoon’s 15-minute session.
Cal Crutchlow 4th 1.38.502 – 8 laps
“I am a little bit disappointed not to be on front row because I’ve been inside the top three for most of the weekend. The positive point though is I am much stronger than in the past here at Indianapolis and I am looking forward to the race. I’ve returned from the summer break and picked up where I left off in the first half of the Championship and a podium is not out of the question tomorrow. Congratulations to Marc though because he has been in awesome form all weekend and he produced another incredible lap in qualifying. Hopefully we can put up a fight against him but we still have to work more on the set-up and at the moment I haven’t decided which tyre I will race.”
Bradley Smith 7th 1.39.255 – 8 laps
“I am happy to be on the third row because we made a really good improvement with the bike today. I did my best lap on my own and then I tried to follow Cal to improve a bit more but I made a small mistake. We’ve done a great job improving my feeling with a full fuel tank and this gives me a lot of confidence for the race, particularly in the first eight laps. I will be looking to make a good start and seeing what I can learn from those guys in front of me. Being precise and consistent is also going to be crucial at this track. It is easy to run off and if you do get off line it is very dirty, so making the least number of mistakes as possible will be crucial.”
2013 MotoGP United States
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’37.958
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’38.471
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’38.485
4 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’38.502
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’38.872
6 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’39.142
7 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’39.255
8 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’39.313
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’39.356
10 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’39.555
11 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’40.042
12 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 1’40.372
13 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’40.444
14 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter ITA 1’41.122
15 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’41.154
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Marc Marquez, 18-8-2013)
Last Years Winner: