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MotoGP Indianapolis – Qualifying

Jorge Lorenzo took his eleventh straight front row of the season in Indianapolis today to extend his spotless 2010 qualifying record, but it was a difficult day for his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi as the World Champion slid out in the closing minutes of the session and will start from seventh.

Another hot day in Indiana brought about tricky conditions on the bumpy asphalt this afternoon, with surface temperatures in excess of 50 degrees during the session. Despite the hindrance Lorenzo looked in fine fettle and as the minutes ticked down he abandoned race set-up to concentrate on qualifying times, being rewarded soon after with provisional pole. However Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies had other ideas today and the Texan edged Lorenzo into second by two tenths. The Championship Leader will be sandwiched between two Americans when the lights go out tomorrow after Nicky Hayden qualified third.

Rossi suffered a torrid day on track, unable to find a comfortable set-up and hitting the gravel in this morning’s free practice session, in which he finished ninth. Some major set-up changes before qualifying left him and the team hopeful of improvement this afternoon and his race pace was considerably better, although he still lacked some grip. Inside the final minutes and with a softer Bridgestone tyre fitted he was ready to push for a fast time but he lost the front when he hit a bump on the track and slid out for the second time today, with not enough time left in the session to go out again on his second bike. The Italian was relieved to discover he was not further down than seventh and he is looking to try to charge through the field tomorrow when the lights go out at 1500 local time.

Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 2ndTime: 1’40.325Laps: 28
“This was a really difficult session because it was so hot and the track was very slippery and bumpy, it was hard to know what to expect! Luckily we managed a good lap and I’m happy with second place, Ben’s lap was amazing so well done to him. A good start will be really important tomorrow because there are many fast riders behind and I think it will be a tough battle for everyone. Our setting is good and we are happy with the choice for the tyre so we will try our best and see what we can do here in Indy.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Position: 7thTime: 1’41.005Laps: 23
“We worked hard today to try to recover the feeling we’ve lost and we have made some improvement. Unfortunately I crashed at the worst point in the session, with the soft tyre in and doing some fast laps but with not enough time left to try again. It could have been worse because I thought I would end up much further back than seventh, so we can be happy for this. This track is very bumpy and I really think something needs to be done to some parts of it to improve it. I don’t know when the last time I crashed twice on one day is but for sure it was many years ago, back in the 90s perhaps! Luckily I am okay, nothing is hurt and this is the most important thing. I think tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day because me, Pedrosa and Stoner are all behind the front row which is unusual. It could be fun!”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“The conditions were really bad today with the heat and the grip levels so it was easy for the riders to be caught out. Luckily Jorge kept his head and we have a good result, as well as a good feeling with both our bikes. We know which Bridgestone tyre we’re going to use and we are starting from the front row so we’re ready for a fight. Well done to Ben Spies for this pole position, he did an amazing lap at his home race.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We are not having the best weekend but we made some improvements today and our race pace is not too bad. Unfortunately Valentino crashed at the end of qualifying and there wasn’t time for him to go out on the second bike, but considering this then the third row isn’t too bad and luckily he hasn’t hurt himself in any way. We have some work to do tonight and we will focus on tomorrow, anything can happen and we’re looking forward to it.”

Super Spies storms to sensational maiden pole position
Ben Spies’ remarkable rookie MotoGP campaign hit a new high today when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider stormed to a stunning maiden pole position at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Texan thrilled a large and sun drenched home crowd with a startling performance at the historic 4.216km circuit, Spies topping the timesheets with an incredible late attack to claim a first pole position for the Tech 3 squad since the China Grand Prix in 2008.

Spies had spent most of the qualifying session, which was run in searing temperatures that peaked at a punishing 33 degrees, concentrating on a crucial race set-up for tomorrow’s 28-lap encoun ter.

But as soon as the field switched to the softer compound Bridgestone rear tyre, Spies was in devastating form and always looked like challenging for a second successive front row start.

There were 12 minutes left on the clock when a lap of 1.40.465 saw him rocket from ninth to the top of the timesheets. That impressive pace put him a fraction ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.

Lorenzo and compatriot Nicky Hayden were both able to lap faster than Spies in the closing stages and relegate him momentarily to third. But the 26-year-old wasn’t finished and he produced an immaculate lap of 1.40.105 to seize back the initiative by 0.220s from Lorenzo.

Spies was denied pole position in the dying moments at the previous round in Brno, but his pace today was unmatched and only Lorenzo, Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso lapped within 0.5s of the reigning World Superbike champion.

Colin Edwards will start tomorrow’s race from ninth, his final grid position certainly not a reflection of his pace on race tyres. The 36-year-old has shown strong form all weekend on the harder compound Bridgestone rear tyre but was unable to significantly improve his pace on the softer option this afternoon.

Sizzling track temperatures that hit 54 degrees meant grip was at a premium this afternoon and although Edwards did find himself in the top six at one stage, he had to settle for a spot on the third row with a best time of 1.41.432.

Ben Spies
Ben Spies
Ben Spies – Position: 1st Time: 1.40.105 Laps: 28
“This is a great feeling for me to get my first MotoGP pole position and for it to come in front of the American crowd and here at Indianapolis with all the history makes it even more special. And I’m glad for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too. This team helped catapult me into this position and I’ve been trying to give as much for them as I can, even though I’ll be moving to Yamaha’s factory team next year. I’ve got to say I really put it on the line this afternoon. I’d come so close at Brno a couple of weeks ago to getting my first pole position and I really wanted to finish the job on home soil. And being on the front row with Nicky too is pretty incredible for MotoGP racing in America. There was no way coming into this weekend that I thought this result was possible. Bur I’ve been able to do it and now I’m going to concentrate on getting a good start and giving it everything in the race. I’d love a podium and my best result at home but I’m not going to get ahead of myself. But right now I’ll certainly enjoy today.”

Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards
Colin Edwards – Position: 9thTime: 1.41. 232 Laps: 27
“Honestly I expected to be a bit higher up than ninth and after this morning I felt I could get into the mid-40s and be on the second row. But it was really hot out there this afternoon and it made the track quite slippery. When you put the soft tyres on you expect to go a fair bit faster but I didn’t really improve much at all. Normally I’d expect to shave off three-quarters-of-a-second but I just didn’t have the grip in the heat. On the hard tyre for the race we’ve got a good setting and I’m confident of a strong race. I’ve had a good pace on the hard tyre all weekend so a top six and my best result of the season is not out of the question. I’d like to congratulate Ben too because his performance today was just fantastic. He did an awesome job and it is great for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too.”
Circuit Length: 4186
Weather: Dry

Fastest Lap Ever: 1’39.730 (Daniel Pedrosa, 30/08/2009)
Last Years Winner: Jorge Lorenzo

2010 MotoGP Indianapolis – Indianapolis 29/08/2010

Qualifying 1

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’40.105
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’40.325
3 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’40.336
4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’40.559
5 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’40.637
6 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1’40.664
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’41.005
8 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’41.092
9 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’41.232
10 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1’41.512
11 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’41.534
12 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 1’41.623
13 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’41.631
14 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 1’41.649
15 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 1’41.856


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