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Lorenzo Lands Front Row Start for Indianapolis Grand Prix

Lorenzo Indy GP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo secured third place on the grid for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix in this afternoon’s qualifying session. Teammate Rossi had a challenging outing and secured eighth.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo scored a front row position in this afternoon’s qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teammate Valentino Rossi made a considerable improvement on the practice sessions, dropping into the mid 1’32’s to take eighth.

Lorenzo was on typical form for the 15 minute qualifying heat, ensuring he was the first man on track as the session began. His first flying lap of 1’32.715 saw him shoot up directly to provisional pole, but his hold was short lived. As the rest of the field crossed the line, he dropped to fifth before quickly retuning to the box with nine minutes on the clock.

When he returned to the track less than a minute later the pace had quickened and Lorenzo had dropped back to sixth. He responded by delivering another hot lap, bettering his time to 1’32.611 to secure fifth place on the grid for the race, but again wasn’t able to hold the spot and slipped back to sixth.

He came back in to the pits for a third time with a little more than four minutes on the clock for a quick stop, to commence his final try with three minutes remaining. This time the Spaniard made it count, his time dropped to a 1’32.186 in his final push, enough to secure third position on tomorrow’s grid.

Valentino Rossi endured a challenging qualifying this afternoon, as he was unable to find a set up with his YZR-M1 to challenge the frontrunners.

Rossi left pit lane directly behind his teammate but came back in before completing his outlap. After a quick stop, he headed back out to set a first flying lap of 1’32.511 for third. Eager to claim a front row starting place, he gave it another try but was unable to improve and returned to the box for a second time with less than six minutes remaining.

One minute later he was back out for his third outing, but despite giving his all his time was not enough to move up the grid. The nine-time World Champion will start tomorrow’s race from eighth on the third row.

Jorge Lorenzo

3rd / 1’32.186 / 8 laps

“Our competitors were very explosive and fast, especially during qualifying on one lap. It’s always difficult to beat them during the practices, not just at this track, but in general. I was a little bit afraid before putting in the last tyre, because I was in sixth position. Luckily for me I managed over the weekend to save one more tyre and in the third try-out I was able to improve my time by half a second and that gave me first row. This is vital, because tomorrow Marc can go very quickly from the beginning and it’s important to be as close to him as possible. It will be a long race, I think we have a good pace and we didn’t improve the bike as we expected, but we still have the warm up to try some things.”

Valentino Rossi

8th / 1’32.511 / 8 laps

“Yesterday I was very slow and a bit worried, and we didn’t start with a good base setting. Today the situation has improved, especially my pace is not so bad. In FP4 I was in fourth position and I raised my level and my potential a lot and also the life of the tyre is longer, but unfortunately in qualifying I wasn’t strong enough to start from the second row. I hit traffic, made mistakes and I have to start from the third row. This is a big problem because I’m not very fast here and we still have some problems with the bike that we have to improve, we have to make a step for tomorrow. I think fighting for the podium tomorrow will be hard, because Marc and Jorge are very strong, but at this track like at Sachsenring also Dani is very fast, so it will be difficult.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Starting from first row is a good result from Jorge. He showed a strong pace during the race simulation we did this morning. There is still some room for improvement, but we expect tomorrow to be a tough race. Valentino ran into some traffic and as a result couldn’t do better than the pace he showed today, even though we made a step and the bike improved from yesterday. Starting from eighth place makes it more difficult, especially at the beginning of the race, but we know what he’s capable of. We will try to prepare something for tomorrow’s warm up to see if we can gain a few more tenths and then we will give everything we have at 2pm.”

Smith to speed from second row of the grid at Indianapolis

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith produced a stellar effort in the qualifying practice at the Indianapolis Grand Prix today to clinch 6th position for tomorrow’s 27 lap sprint. The young Briton began the day with a superb display in FP3 where he posted a top time of 1’32.421, which saw him finish the session in 2nd and just a blink of an eye back from the leading time by 0.029. Following this performance, the 24 year old was fully charged for a successful run in QP2. When the 15 minute shootout began, the British rider jumped onto the Yamaha YZR-M1 and burst into action before setting a time of 1’32.269 on his 7th lap which lifted him to third position. He then attempted to lower the time further, before finishing in 6th which equals his best qualifying performance of the year, with his lap being only 0.083 from the rear of the front row. Smith now fully intends to undertake a typically strong start tomorrow to be able to battle as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes during the 10th round of the 2015 season.

Meanwhile Pol Espargaro will contest the second American round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship from 11th on the grid after a tricky qualifying practice in Indianapolis. The Spaniard began his day with a solid performance in FP3 by setting a lap of 1’32.945 which he was due to improve further, but he unfortunately fell at the end of the practice. This meant his earlier time saw him finish the session in 8th and able to progress straight through to QP2. When the qualifying started, the 24 year old pulled the pin and set a 1’32.670 on only his second lap. Espargaro concluded the 15 minute shoot out with this time as his personal best, which will see him start the race from the middle of the fourth row, with a gap of less than half a second from third position. Nevertheless, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion remains fully confident of being able to climb through the field tomorrow and clinch a high scoring finish aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Bradley Smith

6th / 1’32.269 / 9 laps

“I’m really pleased with my performance today and in addition, my objective for the second half of this year was to qualify higher, so it has been a good start. At the same time, I am a bit disappointed as I was so close to the front row and I definitely left a bit of time out on track, but with everything being so close any small mistakes could have cost us a lot. I felt really good with the bike today and we started off well in the morning. Later we were even able to make another small step forward in FP4. We have made some considerable progress with the hard tyre and towards the end of the final practice session, I became much more confident about our chances in tomorrow’s GP. It will be a long and tricky race but the key factor is to remain consistent. Yet, to start from the outside of the second row is quite positive and I have qualified in that position before so I know the right lines to take. This afternoon, we will improve our plan of action for tomorrow a bit more, but all in all, I’m ready for the fight.”

Pol Espargaro

11th / 1’32.670 / 8 laps

“Without a doubt I can’t be satisfied with this qualifying result. During the practice sessions we always had a strong rhythm with the harder compound of tyre but as soon as I put the soft one in and tried to push for a fast lap time, my confidence with the bike dropped significantly. I didn’t feel comfortable nor did I enjoy riding the bike and my movements on it were not natural. It went as far as thinking that I would crash in nearly every corner which has happened twice already this weekend. However, fortunately our situation for the race looks to be more competitive even if I haven’t given myself an easy task from 11th place on the grid as I personally think that the starting position counts as more or less 40% of the result. Still, I will give it my all tomorrow and try to climb back to the positions that I want to be in.”

2015 MotoGP United States

Indianapolis 08/08/2015

1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’31.884
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’32.055
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’32.186
4 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’32.208
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati ITA 1’32.243
6 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’32.269
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’32.468
8 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’32.511
9 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 1’32.571
10 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’32.636
11 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’32.670
12 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’32.814
13 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’33.170
14 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’33.199
15 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’33.278

Circuit Length:
4186

Weather:
Dry

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’31.619
(Marc Marquez, 10-8-2014)

Last Years Winner:
Marc Marquez