Front Row Press Conference Transcript From Indianapolis

MODERATOR: Ben, quite a weekend for you. Up and down, as it has been for I think most people here at Indianapolis. First of all, congratulations, pole position. Two weeks ago was the first front row, and now you've gone one better in pole.

BEN SPIES: Yeah, it's a dream, I mean to have a pole position at any time in MotoGP and to be able to do it in the first season on the Monster Tech 3 bike in front of the American crowd, it's great and add Indianapolis to it. It's kind of ticked all the boxes this weekend. We just got to, you know, not get ahead of ourselves, so it gives us some common edge for tomorrow but got to kind of live the moment right now. You know, it kind of took the pressure off the announcement on Friday and just knowing what's going on and am I'm really wanting to repay the Tech 3 team because they've helped put me in a place to be there and, you know, to be able to get a pole for them and hopefully can end the season good and keep being consistent and progress. But, you know, today we'll just savor the moment right now and go in tomorrow and try to put a hard 45 minutes and see what happens.

MODERATOR: It's been an interesting weekends, I think, for everybody in MotoGP, grip level has been a problem. You've crashed yourself, and the weather conditions also seem to be getting a little bit hotter.

SPIES: Yeah, the weather is OK for, I think, like me and Nick being back home, this is kind of like a little bit of a cold front for me at least. So it's nice. But today the conditions were difficult with the track, not just because it was hot, but a lot of sliding around. It gets greasy, you know, and through a couple of the turns you're almost kind of twiddling your thumbs, spinning the bike and playing around with it. It was difficult for everybody. We put together a good lap. It wasn't the most perfect lap in the world, but we finally didn't make too many mistakes. Like I said, it gives us confidence for tomorrow, but we've also got to find some more race pace. These guys are going fast. So we'll try to get a good start to stay there in the first few laps and try not to make mistakes and see what happens.

MODERATOR: Can you translate it into a race win from here?

SPIES: You know, there were a bunch of boxes to be ticked this year, but the problem is there's really only one left. We've had a top fives, a podium and now a pole. I mean, why not? You always go for it. In any race you go, like I said, a racer is there to win; it's not always to be had. But tomorrow we're on pole. If we get a good start, yeah, we've got to hang in there, and if we're there we'll try to win the race. We won't be thinking of that the first few laps, we'll just try to stay clean, and a good start's really key here with the first lap and first few turns. Just try to be consistent and give him a race at least, because if we don't he's going to be having a cappuccino with two races to go and not even going to be here. But it would be nice but we've just got to take one step at a time.

MODERATOR: Ben, congratulations and thank you very much.

Turning to Jorge Lorenzo, ladies and gentlemen, riding the Fiat Yamaha, obviously leading the championship. Front row start, Jorge, it's been a tough weekend for everybody, hasn't it? It's been very, very difficult out there.

JORGE LORENZO: Yeah, I think so. The conditions of the track are quite difficult for everyone. It's so bumpy comparing to the normal tracks, especially to the last track in Brno, and also the hot conditions don't give you the best confidence, especially in the front tire. So many crashes today, so today was easy to make a mistake. I obviously I pushed the maximum to get the pole position, but Ben's lap was quite quick, you know, for these conditions. I only could make second place today. That is good, but, well, of course I would like to be in the middle.

MODERATOR: Just not a warning to you but you've got the big lead in the championship and what has happened this weekend, you say so many crashes must make you think, "Yeah, just see how things go."

LORENZO: To be honest, I don't think too much when I am on the bike, no. For me it's better to be concentrating in your riding and to get your instinct to work, no? But anyway, for sure I would try not to make so many crazy things tomorrow to be fast, but not to take a lot of risk.

MODERATOR: And, Ben, his first season, I remember your first season in MotoGP, it's tough. First pole is very important, isn't it?

LORENZO: Yes. He's doing a great progress, no? At the beginning in Qatar, he make a good race but also were special conditions. Now he's getting closer to the top guys. Today he make very quick two laps, so he deserves it, and I think tomorrow if he can keep his level, he can fight for the win.

MODERATOR: Jorge, many thanks. Thank you. Come on to third place, ladies and gentlemen, a local boy, Nicky Hayden, riding the Ducati. It's been an up and down weekend for you as well, Nicky, but this part has been very good indeed.

NICKY HAYDEN: Yeah, you know, it's my first front row since I've been on Ducati. So it's nice, qualifying was something I really struggled with last year and something we worked a lot on in the offseason. Getting on the front row is really important. I know with my race pace and things like that, if I'm going to fight at the front, I can't, you know, expect to start seventh or eighth and just kind of work my way up and pick guys off. So need to be there off the start and see what happens. But the bike felt a lot better this afternoon and, yeah, but I'm happy to be on the front row. It's the first time and it's a good little step for me. We'll see tomorrow.

MODERATOR: Track conditions, everybody says it has been difficult out there finding grip.

HAYDEN: Yeah, well, this morning was a lot cooler and in the afternoon the track changed a lot. It was definitely some long corners and the tires, same tires we used here, exact same tires as last year. So the left side on the hard tire is pretty hard for safety, and you know, spinning around pretty good and moving around, which makes it fun. But, you know, it's certainly a tricky track from the first year we came here. A few bumps in places where you're still on the brakes, so it's not easy, but none of them are.

MODERATOR: And you're set to make an announcement this weekend about you and Ducati. Any closer there? This must put a few more notes on the end there after the front row.

HAYDEN: Yeah, we maybe up discussion again and start negotiating. No, we're close. Official announcement any minute now.

MODERATOR: That's great. Congratulations, everybody on the front row. Ben Spies obviously, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden, thank you.

Coming to Moto2, Julian Simon, your first pole position in Moto2. It was a very difficult session, so much traffic, so busy out there.

JULIAN SIMON: Yeah, a lot of traffic, and I am so happy for my first pole position in Moto2. Been a difficult year for me because the middle of the session I changed the chassis and try new chassis and also difficult for to stay in first place. But finally I make pole and I happy, also, because a lot of work this weekend and also another race. So I want to add congratulations to my team because a lot of work here and very good. So for tomorrow I have rhythm, and I hope a very good start and stay in the first place in all the race and try to win it.

MODERATOR: Front row start is crucial in Moto2 because there are so many riders on the track.

SIMON: Yeah, it is very difficult, the qualifying and practice because the final decision, the last minute is too difficult try to push because many riders waiting for to make the best lap. And it's difficult. Check the situation, no? So, yes, today also difficult, but I try to pushing a lot in the last lap and I make up pole, so I am so happy.

MODERATOR: Congratulations, your first Moto2 pole position.

Certainly not this year Marc's first pole position of the season, his sixth season for Marc Marquez, leading the 125 cc championship. After the problems in Brno with the dislocated shoulder, the weather and everything else, Marc, this is really good for you to be back on pole position.

MARC MARQUEZ: Yeah, this is important position for me and the team. Before was not so good but one race, and now we are here in Indianapolis and we are at world level and I am really, really happy for the bike because I have good confidence. We find a good setting for the bumps, and it is important to stay very concentrated because it's very bumpy, this track. And it easy to make a mistake in the race. So just we will see tomorrow, but I think if we can stay there for fight for the podium, for the victory, it's important to finish the race but also finish in front.

MODERATOR: And your shoulder, you did have a fall very early on on Friday, the shoulder appeared OK. But just two weeks ago you dislocated the shoulder. It is OK now?

MARQUEZ: It is not perfect, but it's OK. I don't have pain, but also maybe the power is not the same of the other shoulder, so in the race I think will not be a problem but, anyway, I think in the qualifying the last laps I was a little bit tired but in the race when I stay concentrate, the shoulder was like the other one.

MODERATOR: Marc, congratulations to you, sixth pole position of the season.

OK, questions from the floor, ladies and gentlemen? If you put up your hands, we have some microphones.

Q: This question is for Ben. Ben, I know you raced here a couple years ago, I believe as a wild card and stuff. So obviously this was a little different situation from other tracks, that you had been here before and maybe had a little bit of a feel. Do you feel like that helped you today at all?

SPIES: Yeah, for sure. It definitely -- we know what the problem, some parts of the track, the problem areas that you've got to work on from the first session with, you know, turn 12 there's a lot of spinning, there's a lot of bumps here. The one bump that has definitely caught a few people out, caught me out even though I knew it was there. You know, it does help a lot. It's a tricky track, for sure. I mean, there's different pavement changes and, like I said, a lot of spinning here and different tires can do a whole lot different things to the bike. So it definitely played a big part of it and, you know, so I think it -- but it definitely helped. We had a lot of feedback coming in and put it to use today.

MODERATOR: Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen?

Q: Nick, there's a rumor you're going to ride tonight at the dirt track.

HAYDEN: Well, yeah, there is, I told Ducati if I was on the front row, least I could do is get a couple laps. So, yeah, I mean I'm going to go out, ride around, not like go sign up for the heat races or nothing like that. But definitely I'm looking forward to it. I mean, I haven't ridden a dirt track track since 2002, it will be fun to put the steel shoe on and run a couple laps. See if I remember how to do it, get my foot down and get a little bit dirty, but it's pretty cool. I love dirt track, that's where my roots are, I'm a dirt tracker, and it's going to be pretty neat.

Q: Question to Ben. At Brno you said if you would have known you get a watch, you would have gone faster. Did it help this time to know the watch? And the second question more serious. When you rode here two years ago on the Suzuki, was there anything you could take with you for this weekend that would help you?

SPIES: For sure, that's what I was saying earlier. You know coming in some problems that you've got to start working on from Lap 1 to make the bike go faster here. Last time we were here, I think we had a pretty good qualifying session, I can't remember where we were, but it wasn't bad, but then the rain was like a hurricane. So it was definitely tricky conditions, but for sure, yeah, two years ago, anytime you're coming to a place you've been to before helps a lot. You know, we haven't had a lot of those tracks this year, but the ones we've had we've gone OK at. Just to be able to get it here in front of the home crowd, and there was some extra incentive. But you always try every time we get on the bike, just glad it worked out today.

Q: For Ben and Nicky, as well. How significant in the United States racing here is it to have two Americans on the front row for this race tomorrow?

HAYDEN: You're on pole. The floor is yours. (Laughter)

SPIES: I think it's great. Two or three on the front row, I don't think we've -- you know, we wanted this to happen, but I don't think a week ago we really thought it probably would have happened like this. So it's great. If we can both get good starts, you know, maybe try to one-two a couple people for the first laps and get out there. It's every man for himself. But yeah, for MotoGP in general, I think it's great to have two Americans at the home race on the front row and give some people something to cheer about.

HAYDEN: Yeah, like Ben said, I think it's awesome for MotoGP here in America. A lot of people are pushing to help expose the sport to new people and for everybody here at IMS, I mean everybody likes to pull for somebody they know, somebody in the area. So hopefully draw in a few extra spectators tomorrow. Yeah, we can have a good show for the American fans. So I wish it was the other way around, wish I was starting on pole and he was second or third. But, no, I think it's great for our sport in America, and hopefully, you know, for things to come, the Americans can maybe get hot here and make another little push. At the moment it's all about Spanish are dominating MotoGP in every class this year. We need to step our game up a little.

MODERATOR: Anybody else, ladies and gentlemen?

Q: Question to Jorge. Did you use the 2011 Ohlins fork during the qualifying practice?

LORENZO: No, I heard Casey used it and also Nicky, but we try in Brno and --

Q: Nicky says no.


LORENZO: Sorry.(Laughter) Sorry. So, no, no. At the moment we wait for maybe Valencia. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Anybody else?

Q: Nicky, any issues with your wrist at all?

HAYDEN: No, not really. I mean, no.

Q: None you would admit to?

HAYDEN: I mean, you know, when I wake up in the morning, like ah, you know, but not really. Yesterday in the crash, I got back and (physio) said, "Does your hand hurt at all?" I said, "It hurt a little before I went out but not worse." Only thing, I tried to protect my wrist when I crashed, so I dug my elbow in and got quite hot, burnt a hole through the leathers and into my arm a bit. But, you know, it's not going to be a big problem tomorrow.

MODERATOR: Anybody else?

Q: Ben, how about your foot, speaking of injuries and things that you're working around. How is that feeling?

SPIES: It's, you know, I'm not going to go run anywhere. I showed my basketball skills off the other day, but on the bike, like I said, even two weeks after the crash, it doesn't affect anything on the bike. It's not 100 percent, I can't do everyday stuff, but on the bike, you know, there's nothing. I mean I don't have a problem with it at all.

Q: Question for Nicky. What can you say about your brother in Moto2 and about his manager, Kevin Schwantz and the job in the --

HAYDEN: I haven't spoke to him since qualifying, probably let him cool down a bit. I'm sure he isn't happy. He hoped to have a good result. You know, yesterday he was more or less OK, he lost the first 20 minutes because they had a little problem. So the race is tomorrow. I'm sure he would like to be closer to the front, but they made some changes for this afternoon and just hearing from my other brother that he liked. But he's starting not a good grid position. So that race, he's going to be right in the middle of all the action tomorrow, but he's a lot better racer than qualifier or practicer or anything else. Hopefully he can put on a little charge.

Back to top