Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after qualifying:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Indianapolis:
2014 Indianapolis MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Fast Brits On Proddy Hondas, An Early Title For Marquez, And An Epic Moto3 Race
Is Indianapolis really a Honda circuit? With four Yamahas on the two front rows of the grid, you would have to say it wasn't any longer. There is a Honda on pole, but as that's Marc Marquez, that doesn't really count: alongside his perfect nine wins from nine races, he now also has eight poles from ten qualifying sessions. Any discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different manufacturers at a circuit really needs to disregard Marquez at the moment. In 2014, the Spaniard is just too much of an outlier, as his ability to put a couple of tenths or more on the opposition at will demonstrates.
Behind Marquez, the grid looks a lot more interesting. Behind Marquez is exactly how Andrea Dovizioso bagged another front row start, the Italian grabbing a tow off the Repsol Honda rider to set the second fastest time. The tow had allowed Dovizioso to follow Marquez' "crazy lines" as the Ducati rider put it, and the extra boost of the new engine Dovizioso has at his disposal may have contributed. The engine comes with a new fairing with revised cooling, suggesting the changes are more to do with making the engine more reliable at the top end, allowing it to be revved higher for longer. Given the Desmosedici's propensity for going up in a puff of smoke – Dovizioso has already lost three of his twelve engines this year, Andrea Iannone has got through four – reduced friction and reduced temperature would be a boon.
Jorge Lorenzo is the last man on the front row of the grid, but he was not disappointed with that. It was important for the Spaniard to build his confidence at Indy, and qualifying definitely helped. Lorenzo remarked that he was closer to Marquez than at the previous race, and that's not just true of qualifying. Lorenzo's race pace is strong too, though still a way off that of Marquez. In FP4, Marquez was running mid 1'32s consistently, while Lorenzo was hitting low 1'33s.
Results and summary of qualifying for Moto2 at Indianapolis:
Marc Marquez set the fastest time of the weekend in FP4, two-tenths of a second faster than Stefan Bradl's top time in the prior session. Marquez 1'32.391 left him half a second clear of the field with qualifying coming up in 40 minutes.
Pol Espargaro earned a confidence boost headed into qualifying with the second-fastest time, closely followed by Valentino Rossi to round out the top three.
Dominique Aegerter continued his strong form at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday with a 1'37.243 in FP3 that put him at the top of the timesheet. Aegerter, who also led the second free practice, just nipped second-fastest Tito Rabat by a mere two-hundredths of a second. And Mika Kallio, who had been languishing out of the top ten, finally had an Indy practice worthy of optimism with the third-fastest time.
Maverick Vinales (4th) and Sandro Cortese (5th) completed the top five. Aegerter topped the timesheet from early on grabbing the lead spot early in the session and not letting go. With seven minutes remaining, the field began to resemble it's final look with Aegerter, Rabat and Kallio holding first through third. Only Vinales made a move toward the front, rising from sixth to fourth and the end of the free practice.
Stefan Bradl charged to the top of the timesheet Saturday with a 1'32.522 that left him a mere one-hundredth of a second clear of Valentino Rossi (2nd). Jorge Lorenzo set the third-fastest time, another eight-hundredths back.
Andrea Dovizioso, who lingered in the top five for much of the session, held on for fourth fastest and Pol Espargaro put down a quick final lap to drop the fifth-place rider into sixth. That sixth-place rider, championship leader Marc Marquez, wasn't able to improve much on his fast time from Friday. Andrea Iannone, who held second for much of FP3, was pushed into seventh followed by Bradley Smith (8th). Two-time Indy winner Dani Pedrosa settled into ninth with Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top 10.
The top 10 FP3 riders will head straight into Q2 later in the day to set the top 12 grid positions. The rest of the field will head into Q1. The two fastest riders from Q1 also then will head into Q2.
For much of the session -- in ideal conditions without a hint of rain -- Marquez led the field. Within the first 30 minutes, the young World Champion had improved on his blistering Friday pace.
Efren Vazquez took advantage of terrific track conditions to set the fastest Moto3 time of the weekend and grab the top spot in the third free practice Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Vazquez's 1'41.103 put him a tenth of a second clear of a rapidly improving Romano Fenati (2nd). Isaac Vinales took third, another four-hundredths back. In each subsequent practice, Vazquez has steadily improved his place on the timesheet moving from fifth, to fourth to first.
Miguel Olivera took top Mahindra honors with fourth fastest followed by championship points leader Jack Miller. Moto3 riders, always tightly clustered on the timesheet, made no exception at Indianapolis with the top 19 rider separated by less than a second. Unexpectedly, that group does not include Alex Rins. The Honda rider, who sits fifth in the championship, set the 23rd fastest time.