Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying practice at Indianapolis:
Yamaha Paint the Front Row Red and White at Indianapolis
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo scored the first double Yamaha front row of the year today in qualifying for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Local hero Spies continued to impress with the strong form in evidence from the beginning of the weekend. The qualifying session saw him quickly up to impressive speed. Despite repeatedly breaking under the pole time for the first two splits Spies was unable to topple Casey Stoner from the top spot so will start from second place for the race.
Reigning World Champion Lorenzo finally made a breakthrough mid-qualifying after struggling for the first three sessions to find a competitive set up on the newly surfaced Indianapolis track. A big set up change to his YZR-M1 with less than half the session to go changed his fortunes, allowing him to climb quickly up to third behind his team mate with two quick laps in succession. Lorenzo will now use the valuable warm up time tomorrow morning to test the consistency of the set up before the race.
Position : 2nd Time: 1'39.373 Laps: 25
"It was good today, we didn't have a fast lap in the end but we got on the front row. We did over 30 laps on a set of tyres and went quite quick at the end, still able to do 39s which is good. The last couple of laps we tried our hardest to catch Casey but with five minutes to go I think I ripped my tank spacer off that holds me back on the bike which didn't help. I wasn't disappointed as I knew we had a gap to fourth so we'd be on the front row. It wasn't the perfect session and Casey was just too fast. I think the race will be different; the tyres will be pretty greasy after ten laps but my bike's working really well on used tyres so we'll see what happens."
Position : 3rd Time: 1'39.629 Laps: 26
"Qualifying was much better than the other three practices so far this weekend. I improved a lot and had a lot more confidence with the front, we changed one bike completely which worked. We are much more confident for tomorrow now. I would like to be closer to Casey, but seven tenths is better than one second and a half. It's going to be a very tough race for everybody. The front tyre, especially on the left side is graining from the fourth lap so it's going to be a complicated ride. Let's see what happens."
"Well I can say one thing, we finally found the right direction to go in which is where we struggled until half way through qualifying. With the bike adjustment we improved a lot, we fitted a qualifying tyre and Jorge pushed for two laps. The bike was stable and we were quite pleased with the result. Ben has been spot on the whole weekend and I think he will be a big contender for the victory for tomorrow. We need to find consistency now and see if we can improve a little bit more for the race."
"The overall result is pretty good today, both riders are on the front row and there is no better way to start the race. Ben's rhythm is very good so I am positive; we have done a really good job so far. Jorge improved every session and is now up there so I am expecting a really good battle tomorrow."
Edwards primed for top six challenge in Indianapolis
Colin Edwards will start his bid for a top six finish in front of his home fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow from the second row of the grid after he equalled his best qualifying performance of 2011 this afternoon.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider was able to transfer his stunning practice form into the 60-minute qualifying session and he will start tomorrow's 28-lap race from sixth position on the grid.
Throughout the three practice sessions, Edwards was consistently running inside the top six and a fastest lap of 1.40.098 in a sun-drenched qualifying session saw him finish just over 0.1s away from claiming fourth spot on the grid.
With the new infield tarmac offering vastly improved levels of grip with more rubber laid down on the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, Edwards was able to lap 1.2s faster than his best time in qualifying for last year's race.
The 37-year-old Texan is now optimistic that he can battle for a third top six result of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship to strengthen his bid to finish the campaign as the leading non-factory rider.
British rider Cal Crutchlow had a frustrating end to an otherwise encouraging qualifying session and he will start the 12th round of this year's World Championship from 11th position on the grid.
The 25-year-old has dedicated the majority of his time this weekend working hard with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team crew to make progress in finding a comfortable front-end setting with his YZR-M1 machine.
His commitment and determination looked like being rewarded with a top 10 place on the grid, but as he pushed to improve his best lap time of 1.40.620, Crutchlow came across Loris Capirossi riding slowly on the racing line at Turn 13 in the final two minutes.
Crutchlow had to quickly take evasive action to avoid a collision with the Ducati rider and he ran into the gravel trap, preventing him from making any further improvement to his lap time.
Despite missing out on his ninth top 10 grid position of the season, Crutchlow is confident he can battle with factory riders Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista in tomorrow's race.
Colin Edwards 6th 1.40.098 – 26 laps:
"The weekend has been great so far and now I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I haven't been out of the top six in every session and everything has been working fantastic. I feel great on the bike, my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been working tirelessly again to give me a competitive package, and I'm sure a realistic goal is to finish in the top six. That would be a great result and I'm hoping to put on a good show for the Indy crowd tomorrow. The new pavement was a million times better today. Yesterday it was greasy and I was sliding around all over the place, but to finish third in that first practice session gave me a lot of confidence immediately and we have just built on that. Right at the end on one of the soft tyres I knew I had to take a risk on the first lap. Normally I'm not the guy that pushes on the first lap, but I knew here that the soft tyre needed to be hammered right out of the pitlane when it had a lot better grip than the second lap. The bike has felt the best it has for a few races and now I'm excited for the race. I need a good start but I'll be looking to have a good fight wi th Dovizioso and Simoncelli. In this heat it is going to be a long and tough race, but I'll be giving it my all for the American fans."
Cal Crutchlow 11th 1.40.620 – 24 laps:
"I'm pretty disappointed with Loris today. He is the most experienced rider on track and he should no better than anybody that riding slowly at the end of a qualifying session when everybody is going to be pushing hard for a decent grid position isn't the right thing to do. The worst thing was he looked behind twice and saw me coming but he stayed on the racing line when he knew I was on a fast lap. I had to swerve really quick to avoid hitting him and that is disappointing. I'm not saying I was going to jump into the top five, but I'm sure without that I might have qualified inside the top 10. That would have been a good result because I'm struggling with the fro nt-end again. I keep losing the front and it is proving quite difficult at the moment to find an improvement. I'm working really hard, and so are my guys, to find a solution. But we haven't quite made me as comfortable on the bike as I'd like. My pace is still not that bad and I'm sure I can be fighting in a group with Nicky and Alvaro tomorrow. If I can get a good start, I'm hopeful I can stay with them and have a good scrap."
Pole and new record for Stoner as new Indy surface keeps improving
Round 12: Indianapolis GP – Qualifying
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday 27 August 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Hard, Extra Hard
Casey Stoner continued his strong form in qualifying today to seal his seventh pole position of the season. As the level of grip from the 1.5miles (2.4km) of new tarmac at the 2.62mile (4.216km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway continued to improve today, his best lap was also an impressive 0.9seconds faster than the previous pole position record, set by Dani Pedrosa in 2009.
Lining up second on the grid for tomorrow's race is last year's pole-man Ben Spies and completing the front row is reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, both of whom were also faster than the previous pole record.
After yesterday's running and this morning's free practice, the track condition was much improved this afternoon although it hasn't reached its full potential yet and is continuing to change with each session run. Tyre graining was a much smaller issue today as the tarmac is much cleaner and with all the rubber laid down the grip is better, but tyre choice and setup balance are both tricky given the constantly changing conditions.
The surface has undoubtedly improved since yesterday and from previous years, hence the marked improvement in laptimes, but this has had an effect on tyre wear. Just as significant is the way in which the character and grip of the tarmac is changing from session to session. This morning the grip balance was quite good between front and rear, but this afternoon, with yet more rubber down, rear tyre grip increased which led to many riders experiencing the front tyre pushing more and increased wear.
The favoured combination for front-runners during the qualifying session was the harder front for its greater stability and wear resistance and the softer rear for its extra traction. Several riders tested race distance durability of the softer rear slick, including Stoner and Spies, and in current conditions consistency is good.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"As we expected, the track condition changed again today as it keeps on improving almost with every lap that's run around it. The laptimes were very fast, and Casey beat the pole position record by almost one second, so this is a good indication that the new surface is already much better than it was at the start of the weekend.
"Performance of the softer spec rear was good today and we were able to confirm race-distance durability so this is likely to be the favoured choice for the race alongside the harder front. Conditions today were especially tough on the front tyres though. As the circuit grip character changes, so does the grip balance and this afternoon a lot of riders experienced the front end pushing, accelerating front tyre wear. We can expect the tarmac to change again tomorrow, so trying to predicting the changes and get the right grip balance with setup will be very important. Good tyre management and making the best use of the tyres in the overall bike, rider and tyre package will be even more important here than usual and tyre wear is likely to play a significant role in the outcome of tomorrow's race."
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP POST-QUALIFYING NOTES:
- This is the first career Red Bull Indianapolis GP pole for Casey Stoner. His previous best start was second in 2008.
- Casey Stoner set a track record with his pole lap of 1:38.850, breaking the previous mark of 1:39.730 set by Dani Pedrosa when winning the pole in 2009.
- The top three qualifiers today were quicker than the previous track record of 1:39.730 set in 2009 by Dani Pedrosa.
- Casey Stoner earned his class-leading seventh pole this season.
- Ben Spies qualified on the front row for the second consecutive year at this event. He won the pole last year.
- This is the first time this season that Yamaha has put two bikes on the MotoGP front row, as Ben Spies qualified second and Jorge Lorenzo third.
- Jorge Lorenzo has qualified on the front row at all four Red Bull Indianapolis GP races. He qualified second in 2009 and 2010, third in 2008 and 2011.
- Nicky Hayden qualified eighth, his worst starting spot in four Red Bull Indianapolis GP's. His previous low was sixth in 2009.
- Valentino Rossi qualified 14th, his worst starting spot in four Red Bull Indianapolis GP's. His previous low was seventh in 2010.
- This is the second-worst starting spot of the season for Valentino Rossi. He qualified 16th for the German Grand Prix in July at Sachsenring.
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP FRONT ROW QUICK QUOTES:
CASEY STONER (No. 27 Repsol Honda Team, pole): "It's been quite complicated, actually, sort of knowing whether to chase settings and get the bike set up, knowing whether the track was going to improve more or not. Session by session, it's got gradually better. I think today it got a little bit better but not too much better than what we had this morning. We're still undecided with settings, things like that, because if conditions improve tomorrow, then whatever we find out today is going to be irrelevant. So we've been just trying to decide how big of a steps to make, and things like this. In reality, we haven't made a lot of changes to the bike. We've just been experimenting with different tires. Front, trying to get it to last a little bit longer. Without the grip we need, basically we're just sort of tearing the front tires. We definitely need to improve those areas a little bit. But at the same time, on both softer compounds, we've done over race distance. Pretty happy with the lap times we're getting. It's going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, how it plays out. Tires will play a factor in it. We're just going to have to see if we made the right choice and make sure we're there at the end. I think there's going to be a lot different race tomorrow than what it looks in qualifying."
BEN SPIES (No. 11 Yamaha Factory Racing, second): (About chances to catch Casey Stoner): "It's going to be tough. He's riding really fast, for sure. We've got a chance. We have to be perfect and not make any mistakes, and just hang on the first few laps. The bike's working really good. We did race distance with the tires early on, feels great. Just couldn't quite get the fast lap out of the bike when we put the new rear on. Just didn't have the confidence in the front to push that little bit. We tried. That's about it. We had a little problem the last couple laps. But it was fine with me because I know I didn't have the pace to move up. But I knew we would be on the front row, so that was important for the start tomorrow. Now we'll just look at some data and rest up and get ready for tomorrow. The Yamaha is working good, and we're both on the front row, so we'll try to put together a good race."
JORGE LORENZO (#1 Yamaha Factory Racing, third): "Quite like a nightmare, no? Before qualifying we were quite lost, especially in braking and going into a corner. I didn't have any confidence. Fortunately, we tried a completely new setup for the bike this afternoon, and it improved a lot the confidence under braking so I improved the lap times so much and got closer to Casey and Ben. But we are still a little bit behind. For tomorrow it is going to be difficult to fight for a win, but at least I would like to fight for the podium."
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:
COLIN EDWARDS (No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3, sixth): "Today was Texas Tornado Boot Camp with a little water, a little bit more tacky clay. It was a lot better today. You could push, you could squeeze the brake up in there and be confident about it. Obviously, lap times dropped dramatically. It seems like every session they've gotten better and better at just getting more rubber on the track. It's working out good. We got the bike set up good. There in the beginning, we went on an old tire and got like, 41.0 or 41.1 with 30 laps on the tire. So I feel good, feel confident. It should be a good race tomorrow." (About track surface): "You know, there is a bump there, a bump there and a bump there. But compared to most racetracks and especially compared to what it was last year, it's just awesome. I mean, I like smooth tracks anyway, so it's good." (Have you chosen a tire yet?): "Yeah, I think everyone's chosen a tire. We just go with the harder front and the softer rear. You know, we tried the hard rear last year and ran into trouble immediately. We're not going to make that mistake this year. We're feeling confident."
CAL CRUTCHLOW (No. 35 Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 11th): "The conditions are a lot better. I ran off the track because of Capirossi riding around like an idiot on line. It was one of those things we were trying at the end of the session, but he was riding in the middle of the track when we were pushing for a grid slot. But, yeah, things seem to be taking shape. It's much better. The track's cleaning up nicely. It seems that we can make some improvements for tomorrow. I like the flow of it (the circuit). We just need to make it flow a little bit better for us at the moment."
NICKY HAYDEN (No. 69 Ducati Team, eighth): "Obviously, to be on the third row is not our target. We struggled a lot again today, probably worse today than yesterday. With a new track and a bit of a new bike, we just haven't found a direction. My feedback probably hasn't been clear enough, and we really just can't find which way to go to try to make the bike steer. In the end, I salvaged third row, if you can call it that. We've got a lot of homework to do tonight, but hopefully we can come up with something. I'm not expecting an easy day tomorrow, that's for sure. We certainly not putting up the fight that we hoped here. Last year's data is not a lot of help. The track has gotten a lot better. Now it is so grippy that tire wear is the problem. We're wearing tires quite a lot, especially in the front. I went through a couple of tires really quick, so tomorrow is going to be interesting. Obviously, the cooler weather should maybe help tire wear. We'll line up tomorrow. That's why we don't race on paper. We'll try to go with that second group. The front group, they're on their own. My team is working hard. I've got a lot of fans here. A lot of people are supporting me. We'll dig in and try to put up the best fight we can."
DANI PEDROSA (No. 26 Repsol Honda, fourth): "I had some problems with the tires that I couldn't fix, so I was not running super-fast. I could not run fast enough. I was uncomfortable. The temperature affects the tires. We are one second behind the top guy, so it's quite bad. The speeds are very fast here." (About race): "I will try to get some help from the back and improve and get some separation from the bikes. It is very warm, like last year." (About recovery from broken collarbone suffered in crash in French Grand Prix in May): "A little weaker, having less pain. I'm not as strong as before. I need some time. You don't load the bike the same way, and you don't push it the same way."
VALENTINO ROSSI (No. 46 Ducati Team, 14th): "This morning was much better with the bike. Unfortunately, I had a crash at the beginning (of qualifying) where I damaged the good bike. So I had to go with the other bike. It's so strange what happened this afternoon, but now we have to understand why we have so much of a problem because the other guys were more or less faster this morning. With the first bike, I was fast from the beginning, but unfortunately, with the crash, we don't really understand our real potential. I'm not hurt. We will see tomorrow."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (No. 4 Repsol Honda Team, fifth): "The lap time is good. Casey made a big gap. Casey was too fast for us. This is really big for Casey; he is going for the championship. The race is important. We are thinking about the podium and which drivers I will fight." (About track conditions): "The grip improved from this morning. The temperature was more (this morning), grip was worse. We have a really strange problem. We have to much grip in rear compared to the grip in the front. We just tried the front tire because the grip was too much in the front. We had too much temperature in the front; that could be a big problem in the race. We will run for the podium."
HECTOR BARBERA (No. 8 Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP, 10th): "The track was better today than it was yesterday. There was better grip on the new asphalt. There's more rubber in the track. I'm enjoying driving on this track. I feel good. Tenth position isn't the best, but I'm happy. During the race, I think it's possible to get to seventh or sixth position. I think that's where I can put my lap time. I think I'm about that fast. I want to do what I can to improve tomorrow and get a good result."
ALVARO BAUTISTA (No. 19 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, ninth): "Yes, I think it was a good session. You always want to make the right decisions, and that is what we did. We improved our lap time in every session, and I'm quite happy. I think track conditions are much better than (Friday), and that helped improve the times. I am in the third row, and I will try to make a good start and try to follow the front riders because we are not far from the top positions. I would like to push from the very first lap, but we will see what happens. We had a problem with the reliability of the front tire. After 15 laps, it starts to slide a little bit. We will see and try to make an adjustment to improve tire life.
MARCO SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini, seventh): "Today has been a strange qualifying session because in the first part I was pretty fast, but in the last part when we put on the soft tire I couldn't improve very much. The front tire was completely destroyed. The new surface gave us some problems with front-tire abrasion, and we are working to solve the problem but have gotten only a little faster. I don't know what my strategy will be. My race rhythm is not so bad. But, for sure, it will be hard to fight for positions, but I can improve my starting position."
QUALIFYING SESSION BELOW EXPECTATIONS FOR THE PRAMAC RACING TEAM AT INDIANAPOLIS
The second day of testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway had started well enough for the Pramac Racing Team thanks to the ninth and thirteenth position respectively obtained during the morning session by Randy De Puniet and Loris Capirossi. But the afternoon qualifying, valid for the starting grid of the Indianapolis Grand Prix which begins tomorrow at 2pm local time, did not see the green and white riders on the same level. The Frenchman, in fact, finished in twelfth place while the Italian in seventeenth. Tomorrow the twenty-minute warm-up should be used at the best to improve their bikes and be able to fight for better positions during the race.
Marco Rigamonti – Randy De Puniet Track Engineer
"We thought we could improve a lot more with the soft tires, but unfortunately it did not go well. A shame for Randy that he felt good for all tests but missed the final twist in the final minutes of qualifying. We need to definitely improve the set up of the bike tomorrow morning to make the bike more agile in the long corners."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing – 12th in 1'40.815
"The first exit from the pits this afternoon went very well although we had a rear tire with almost twenty laps and after thirty laps I recorded my best lap. Then in the final try, with new tires, we were able to improve by only a few tenths of a second, and this just is not right. I expected more, but we often have difficulties with new tires. I gave everything I had, tomorrow we will have to improve the bike, especially in long-distance curves. Our race pace is good, we aim to enter the top ten!"
Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing - 17th in 1'41.092
"I'm disappointed, the team worked very well and the bike was ready. But I was not able to exploit the soft rubber as I should and I was relegated to the rear of the classification. It would take only three tenths less and we were almost in top ten, but this is not enough. We had a good start to the afternoon session but the last few laps we have not just exploited as we should. We hope to redeem in the race tomorrow, even if the shoulder pain is strong and I hope it will not cause me complications in the final part of the race."
THIRD ROW START FOR SEVENTH FASTEST SIMONCELLI
Despite improving his pace from yesterday Marco Simoncelli was unable to make up positions and will start the Indianapolis Grand Prix from the third row of the grid tomorrow. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider has found a good set-up for the race but once again struggled with front tyre wear, especially on the left side. The Italian will look to improve the situation in tomorrow morning's warm-up, as will Hiro Aoyama, who also improved his pace but not enough to move up positions.
Marco Simoncelli (7th 1' 40" 204) "Obviously I was hoping to do better than this because things weren't going too badly or us in the first half of qualifying. I was optimistic because my pace on race tyres was good but when we put a new rear in to chase a faster lap time the front was completely destroyed within a couple of laps and I couldn't push the bike as I wanted to. Now we will have a look at the data and do some work for the race to and find a solution that will save on front tyre wear. As I said I am still optimistic about my race pace and even though a podium will be difficult and even more so the win, we have a good chance of improving on our starting position."
Hiroshi Aoyama (13th 1' 40" 925 ) "My feeling was a little better today but not enough to make up positions. We start from near the back again and that presents its own problems but my race pace is not too bad so I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini "We have taken some small steps forward but it is still not exactly what we want. We are still having problems with the front but I think that is the same for everybody to an extent. Now we just have to work hard on finding the best set-up for the race because it will be long and tough, and difficult to manage the front tyre. We can expect a drastic drop in performance from everybody in the second half of the race so it will be important to try and find a compromise. That will be the key to the race tomorrow."
Improved qualifying sees Bautista on the third row
Publish Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista made a determined effort in this afternoon's qualifying session at Indianapolis to ensure he has a grid position that gives him a chance of a good result for tomorrow's race.
Bautista will start from the third row after qualifying in ninth place with a best lap–time of 1'40.333 from his 28-laps. He thoroughly tested the Bridgestone race tyres that he had available, to get the best option for Sunday. Bautista is still looking for a bit more durability from his preferred front tyre selection, but believes the team will be able to make a few changes to the set-up of the GSV-R to assist with tyre life in readiness for the race.
Today's qualifying at the 4,216m Indianapolis Motor Speedway was held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures getting up to 51ºC. Current championship leader Casey Stoner took pole position, with American Ben Spies in second and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo making up the front row.
Tomorrow's 28-lap race is round 12 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship and the lights will go out to signal the start of the event at 14.00hrs local time (18.00hrs GMT).
"The qualifying today was not too bad compared with the last few races, so this is a lot better for us. We tried a long run at the start of the session and the grip from the rear was no problem, but the front did not have enough life in it to make a full race length. This will make things difficult for tomorrow, because we have to try and preserve the front tyre and make sure we have enough durability for 28-laps. We are starting from the third row so the main thing will be to get a good start and stay with the front guys. We will look at today's data to see if we can use a setting that will give us more life in the tyre and stop it dropping off and sliding around. I am looking forward to tomorrow because we have a better grid position and I will give it full gas and 100% to get a good result."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"I don't think Álvaro or anyone else on the team is particularly excited with ninth on the grid, but the third row gives us a decent chance to go with the fast guys on the early laps and challenge for a good result tomorrow. We've done a number of long runs and as much as 35-laps on a race rear tyre - and the rhythm was still pretty good. We now need Álvaro to race aggressively tomorrow like he has done recently and I think we can hope to have an exciting afternoon."
Karel Abraham will start from the sixth row on the grid despite a significant improvement
Although the Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham improved his best lap time from the free practice by 0,804 seconds, he finished sixteenth in the qualifying practice for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, just 2,235 seconds behind the fastest rider Casey Stoner.
"Of course we could do better, but I'm glad that I didn't lose too much time to the riders in front of me," Karel Abraham, who completed 28 laps and finished 0,007 seconds ahead of Loris Capirossi, said.
Mechanics of the Cardion AB Motoracing team worked mainly on the set-up of the Ducati Desmosedici GP11.
"We had problems with the set-up of the motorcycle," admitted Karel Abraham. "Grip of the tyres on the new surface was improving in every lap and the conditions on the track were very variable."
"We will make some changes in the warm-up and then we will see," added the twenty one year old Czech rider, hoping for another top ten finish in his debut season in MotoGP.
FALL SPOILS QUALIFYING FOR ROSSI, HAYDEN EIGHTH
After taking a nice step forward in the third free-practice session this morning, a fall during the fourth lap of qualifying affected Valentino Rossi's performance in Indianapolis. Although the Italian immediately returned to the garage, he could no longer use his first bike or its set of fresh tyres. He'll have to start from the fifth row of the grid tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden was able to improve his situation by over a second and a half compared to Friday, posting the eighth-best time. He'll start his home Grand Prix from the third row.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th (1:40.244)
"Compared to yesterday, we had wanted to take a step forward in qualifying, but I got a bit confused this morning, and my feedback to the team wasn't as good as it should have been. This bike is new for us, and we still need more experience with it. Anyway, we still salvaged the third row in the end, which is better than I was. Tyre wear is going to be a big question mark for me. I'm sorry for my fans and the Ducati supporters who want to see us qualifying up front, but we'll give it our best tomorrow. They say there may be cooler weather, which normally helps us a little bit, so maybe we'll catch a break."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 14th (1:40.975)
"We took a nice step forward this morning that we hoped to confirm in qualifying, and instead I fell right away. We really could have done without that crash, but the front closed right when I touched the brake. From there, the whole session was difficult because the second bike had a slightly different setup. I lost one pair of new tyres and I had to start with a set of used ones. I wasn't able to get back the feeling from this morning, when the bike felt better and I could push harder. It's really a shame because we wanted to try to start from the second row again, like at Brno, and instead we'll have to work hard tomorrow. Anyway, we'll give our best effort in the race because we weren't so far off this morning."
Seventh pole of the season for Stoner, second row for Pedrosa and Dovizioso for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP
Casey Stoner will start tomorrow's Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix from pole position after setting a stunning lap of 1'38.850, 1.2 seconds faster than the current circuit record set by Jorge Lorenzo and over half a second ahead of local hero Ben Spies in second position.
Already the fastest man on track in this morning's practice, the Australian showed he was ready to fight for his seventh pole of the season, and was the only rider capable of lapping in the 1'38's in a very tough qualifying session, with an air temperature of 31 degrees and a track temperature of 51.
Dani Pedrosa will start the race from fourth on the grid, just behind Casey, and next to him will be his team mate Andrea Dovizioso, in fifth position. Dani fought for the front row until the last second and narrowly missed it by three tenths. The Spaniard didn't feel at ease with the front tyre this afternoon but remains confident starting from the second row for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix tomorrow, after he won in 2010 from fifth position.
Andrea Dovizioso made another small step forward in the qualifying improving his lap time by 3 tenths from the morning session. With higher temperatures this afternoon, the tyre wear caused issues that Andrea's team will look to improve for the race tomorrow and hope to fight for a podium.
CASEY STONER – 1st 1'38.850
"I'm very happy with Pole here in Indy, the team have been doing a great job under difficult conditions this weekend, but the race is tomorrow and we will keep working right up until the last moment to try and get the set up right. Obviously without the bumps from previous years the track is performing a lot better, but the lack of consistency in the grip levels are causing issues, everyone is loosing the front and it doesn't give you a lot of confidence, when you hit these patches the bike just seems to drop away from you. We haven't changed too much since FP1, just a few small steps and trying to get the front tyre to work more as with such little grip, we are destroying it. For race distance we're looking pretty good, we did more than race distance on soft front and soft rear and had good stability, we'll wait and see what the conditions are like for tomorrow and decide from there".
DANI PEDROSA – 4th 1'39.947
"We had some issues in the session with the front tyre, I didn't feel very comfortable with it and we couldn't get the most from it. I was not going super fast and I lost the first row, but I'm not worried about the position. We would like to be closer to Casey and Ben - they have been very fast and consistent, so I hope to find something more tomorrow morning in the warm up to help us fight for the podium. The race will be hard because it's very hot out there, and it will also be a big challenge for the tyres, but I hope we perform better in the race".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th 1'40.024
"Starting from the second row tomorrow is not too bad. It will be important to have a good start and ride consistently, trying to manage the tyres for the twenty eight lap race. The rear grip is too strong compared with the front which causes the front tyre to overheat, this remains the main issue so we need to continue working with the set up to rectify this. During qualifying the ground temperature reached fifty one degrees, these conditions are really demanding for the tyres. Concerning the pace, I have good rhythm and even though the gap to Casey remains too big for my liking, I think we can fight with Dani and Lorenzo for a podium position, this is our target and we will continue working to improve the machine for the race".
BARBERÁ SECOND HIGHEST DUCATI ON INDY GRID
MAPFRE Aspar rider qualifies in top ten, 1.5 seconds from pole
Even though the new Indianapolis asphalt may still not be to all of the MotoGP riders' liking, the lap times tumbled today at the Brickyard with a new pole position record of 1'38.850 going to Casey Stoner. Just 2.2 seconds separate the entire field and that is with virtually a full second covering the front row, with Stoner threatening to continue his winning streak from the past two races. Only Ben Spies, at his home track, was able to get close to the Australian today whilst Jorge Lorenzo has work to do if he wants to challenge the pair for victory tomorrow from the outside of the front row.
Like the majority of riders MAPFRE Aspar man Héctor Barberá has shaved a massive five seconds off his lap time from the opening free practice to this afternoon's qualifying. The Spaniard has made positive progress throughout the weekend so far and was able to translate it into the tenth fastest time of today, meaning he lines up on tomorrow's grid with just a single Ducati ahead of him and only 1.5 seconds off Stoner's pole lap. Front tyre wear continues to be an issue, however, and solving that could be the key to any further progress in tomorrow's race.
10th Héctor Barberá 1.40.360 (24 laps): "We have a really good set-up now and that helped us get on the pace today. What is worrying me is that the tyres are completely destroyed after ten laps, especially the front. The rear tyre is a pretty obvious choice, it is just the front we need to decide so we'll work on that in the warm-up. We did a good job today and made more progress but I still think we have room for improvement and need to keep pushing. I had fun on the bike though and we have improved a lot from the morning to the afternoon so we'll keep going in the same way from here."
ELIAS IMPROVES AT HOT INDIANAPOLIS GP QUALIFYING SESSION
Indianapolis, 27 August: despite the threat of the awful Irene Hurricane the sun shined at Indianapolis Speedway race track today for the final qualifying which saw the 800c riders struggling with grip level as the asphalt temperature rose up to 51 degrees. After yesterday's first outing, LCR Honda MotoGP racer Toni Elias has worked hard with his crew to deal with the repaved American asphalt ahead tomorrow's 28-lap race.
The Spaniard riding the LCR RC212V completed 25 laps in this afternoon 60-minute qualifying session, setting his fastest time of 1'41.030 on the ultimate of those and placed 15th on the timesheet topped by the Australian Casey Stoner (1'38.850).
Elias – 15th – 1'41.030: "Already from yesterdays afternoon session and this morning we knew which are going to be our front and rear tyres for the race. It seems we had less issues with front tyre compared with the other riders especially about the wear. In this afternoon session we have tested two different bike set ups: one was better in turning and the other one had a better stability so we have been trying to understand which was the best one for tomorrow. In my last run I had a big issues with the new rear tyre that was pushing too much in the front and I struggled to control the bike. We will work on that in the warm up tomorrow to get a better feeling. At the end I had not taken a painkiller injection as my right feet is improving day by day".