2010 Indianapolis MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result - Stunning Last Five Minutes Sees Surprise Front Row

Results and summary of MotoGP qualifying practice at Indianapolis:

Ben Spies has taken a stunning debut pole at Indianapolis, after a thrilling qualifying session at a hot Speedway. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha grabbed pole with two minutes to go from his teammate for next year, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, who had in turn just deposed Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden. With two of the three Americans on the front row of the grid, MotoGP will receive a big boost in the US.

The two Repsol Hondas sit on the second row, Andrea Dovizioso ahead of Dani Pedrosa, while Casey Stoner sits behind his Marlboro Ducati teammate in 6th. Valentino Rossi continues to struggle with grip, the Italian turning his Fiat Yamaha upside down searching for setup with just minutes in the session left, then crashed out at Turn 6 with 6 minutes to go in qualifying. Rossi will start from 7th for Sunday's race. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'40.105    
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'40.325 0.220 0.220
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'40.336 0.231 0.011
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'40.559 0.454 0.223
5 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'40.637 0.532 0.078
6 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'40.664 0.559 0.027
7 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'41.005 0.900 0.341
8 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'41.092 0.987 0.087
9 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'41.232 1.127 0.140
10 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'41.512 1.407 0.280
11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'41.534 1.429 0.022
12 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 1'41.623 1.518 0.089
13 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'41.631 1.526 0.008
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 1'41.649 1.544 0.018
15 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 1'41.856 1.751 0.207
16 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'41.896 1.791 0.040
17 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'41.923 1.818 0.027
Round Number: 
11
2010
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Total votes: 49

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Comments

...that Spies very well may be the real deal.

I don't believe for one moment that he had a standard satellite M1 underneath him today, but that doesn't make his accomplishment any less impressive. Not at all.

Perhaps the aliens ARE gonna have a new member.

(I really hope Rossi's still getting the full support of the factory. This type of struggling for him is uncharacteristic, to say the very least. I AM NOT making excuses for him, mind you, but this really is rare for him to struggle so mightily with setup. Rare, indeed, if not unprecedented. Something just isn't quite right, methinks...)

Total votes: 63

In an interview today for the Italian media Rossi said, without question, that he is getting full support from Yamaha. He is very happy with Yamaha right now.

He explained (in a different interview) that two things have happened with setup: First, that they had the bike set to ride around his injury(ies) and now do not need that setup so much; Second, in starting the process of reverting the bike to "normal" he tried Lorenzo's setting first (probably thought since Jorge was doing so well they would start there) but found it did not work for him so they started over again. Oh, and (three actually) the track is in bad shape and apparently he told the safty commision last year to fix a hole at turn six - they didn't, guess where he went down? He is not at all happy with the track.

He has also admitted that his confidence is a little off because of the injury and the fact that he is still physically fragile.

My opinion (not that I count for diddly you understand) - The little something that Spies and Colin got at Laguna combined with Spies' familiarity with Indy, and his time put into learning GP, and he's starting to get into his Spies groove... is beginning to show what he can do. But point taken that Spies on a factory will be dangerous indeed. Loved Rossi's comment that Jorge with have his own "Jorge to annoy him next year". Classic Valentino.

It isn't easy seeing Rossi struggle, I freaked when he fell, but Rossi will be back into his full mega-awesomeness soon, I've no doubt, AND giving everyone ulcers. He got a bad boo-boo and even for a bad-ass like Vale, it takes time. :)

Total votes: 81

Nothing I can say here that isn't already out there. Tick one more box on the Ben Spies to do list! Only two more (Win and Title in MotoGP) boxes left unchecked. Damn fine job!

Total votes: 84

Way to go Ben! Way to go Nicky! Good luck tomorrow. But I must say I am sorry to hear that this second American race will be coming back to Indy next year. Regardless of the fact that Indy is so famous, this track is no good. This many riders falling down due to bumps and questionable racing surfaces is unacceptable. As much as I agree that there should be races on both coasts, Moto GP should really consider going to Miller. Let's hope for a good, safe race tomorrow.

Total votes: 82

...I agree about the track surface. They really should address it. You'd think that with the budget I'm sure they have, they could smooth out the bumps.

p.s. sorry about the joke. I couldn't help myself. Please don't take offense. :)

Total votes: 67

Yes Miller is a great track but Indy is far from a not-great track. Have you ever been there?

I have been to most of the motorcycle race tracks in the U.S. and Indy is one of the best facilities - if not the best - in America, and most likely all the world. Not only that, there is a 100+ year history that adds to the flavor and uniqueness.

The track itself is certainly not the worst the MotoGP riders have to use and all the riders have said they like it (Rossi has negative comments this year because he isn't doing well. No supprise there.)

Rather than lobby to drop Indy from the schedule, I would rather add Miller and others to it - but in reality, because of the location and demographics I doubt Miller could draw enough people to sustain it anyway (unless Laguna were to be taken off the schedule).

The mid-west area is second only to California in percapita motorcycle registrations. Unfortunately, many in this area are not road racing fans, but once they are educated about the fantastic sport Superbike and MotoGP is then they will come. And at IMS there is plenty of room for them.

Total votes: 73

Should we cancel Silverstone as well? The riders complained that the braking areas were much too bumpy and had been ruined by F1 cars.

Indy's main fault is the low speed turns, though, they do lead to some epic tire smoking.

Total votes: 75

I just hope that this season Ben can do better than Toseland did on the ........wait a sec :)

When was the last time a satellite team was on Pole?

I bet Poncheral had a heart attack!

Total votes: 95

Oh I so wish I could have been there. Can you imagine the feeling in the air with 2 US riders vying for a front row start? The last 5 minutes of qualifying would have been so much fun.

Total votes: 78

I was there and the last ten minutes of QP were amazing! I'm a bigger Spies fan, but you could see Hayden working his tail off to perform for the home crowd and they responded in a big way. If this doesn't give MotoGP a stronger following in the US, nothing will. Fantastic!

Total votes: 76

Before last years WSBK season Ben had so many doubters. I tried to warn them about Mr Spies but (even today) people underestimate him.

Even if Ben was given a factory equivalent bike (the hardware is most likely the same but the computer programmers control the acceleration rates) it still shows his capabilities.

After this "home" race he will most likely be put back to the satellite settings but he has already pleased Yamaha by helping them with their nogations with Jorge's contract, and helped them show Vale that having a good bike is still important - even if you have "alien" talent.

Great performance Ben - and Nicky!

Total votes: 86

My three favourite riders in the top three! Doesn't get any better for me :)

Total votes: 76

Congrats to Ben on his first pole. I hope he can follow it up with a good race result.

I'm wondering if this qualifying could be a bit of things to come next year. Spies and JLo being at the front, Stoner being the "slowest" of the Honda trio, and Rossi being the 2nd quickest factory Ducati. I'm not going to predict this but I could see it happening on a regular basis.

Total votes: 64

Makes you wonder if Spies already has Rossi's bike and vice versa...

Total votes: 82

"We put a qualifier on at the end and it was a big jump, felt like we went back to real qualifiers.......two Americans on the front row is good for GP in America and everyone who supports it............hopefully [two Americans on the front row] will bring out the crowds for tomorrow."

First ever front row on Ducati. First ever MotoGP pole for Ben Spies.

Hollywood couldn't write a better script if they tried, but they might add some boobs and explosions for box office insurance. Coincidence? or is it time for some Italian journalists to corner Ezy and ask him some hard hitting questions (read: allegations of conspiracy). Broke companies do desperate things.

Total votes: 81

But, just in case you aren't completely kidding, you of all people can do that math...  in just two words:  sealed engines.

Total votes: 79

What's wrong with him. Slowing down in the race line, stuffing Bautista's and Kallio's last lap, and then, when Bautista and Kallio passes him, almost rams a slowing Kallio (why keep up the pace when the lap has been stuffed and the flag is out) while making signs to Kallio?!

Granted, both Kallio and Bautista were probably planning on following Stoner, but that doesn't excuse his beavior.

Total votes: 70

Those guys (and others) are always following Stoner for a tow, he doesn't like it much. He's made his dislike of it well known in the past and he occasionally follows the warnings up with a bit of on-track schooling. Feisty little character!

Total votes: 90

But is making the same mistake as he's flogging other riders for ok, and then blame them?

HE stuffs Kallio's/Bautista's last lap, and then starts to gesture them? Who's at fault here?

Total votes: 79

Casey still had time for another timed lap, but decided to waste it on a tantrum. What's more important? Improving your grid position? Or venting your anger/frustration? He effectively ruined Bautista and Kallio's last lap, and cutting off Kallio should have gotten him at least a reprimand.

The guy is fast and doesn't hold much back in interviews. But he's got to get over his pet peeve of being followed during qualifying. (There's nothing in the rules against it, is there?)

Total votes: 75