2011 Indianapolis MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: One Man Dominates Qualifying

Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Indianapolis:

Casey Stoner has taken his 7th pole position of the season, dominating qualifying practice throughout to end the session over half a second ahead of his nearest rival Ben Spies. Stoner brooked no opposition, snatching pole by over a second with just 7 minutes of the session gone, smashing the pole record three minutes later, and then getting into the 1'38s with over 5 minutes of qualifying left to go. Stoner's pole time of 1'38.850 beat the existing pole record held by Dani Pedrosa by just under nine-tenths of a second.

Ben Spies was the only man even remotely capable of staying in the same timezone as Stoner, the factory Yamaha rider bagging 2nd on the grid and at least being close to the pace of the Australia, Spies also ending qualifying some four tenths faster than Pedrosa's previous pole record. Jorge Lorenzo snagged the final spot on the front row, posting a strong lap with 6 minutes to go to take 3rd. Last year's winner Dani Pedrosa could not get near to Lorenzo's time, ending qualifying in 4th and the first man to finish outside a second of Stoner's time.

Pedrosa heads up a large group with very close times: Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso starts from beside Pedrosa in 5th, while Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards takes the final spot on the second row in 6th. Marco Simoncelli heads up the third row from 7th, ending just ahead of Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden in 8th and Rizla Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista in 9th, while Mapfre Aspar Ducati's Hector Barbera rounds out the top ten. Just over four tenths of a second separate Pedrosa in 4th from Barbera in 10th, the field all very close in mid-pack.

Valentino Rossi's qualifying got off to a miserable start, the Italian crashing his #1 bike early in the session and damaging it badly enough that he could not use it again during qualifying. Rossi's #2 GP11.1 was set up slightly differently to his crashed bike, and the Marlboro Ducati rider was over 2 seconds off the pace throughout QP, ending up with the 14th time. Rossi will start from the 5th row on the grid.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 27 Casey STONER HONDA 1'38.850    
2 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'39.373 0.523 0.523
3 1 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'39.629 0.779 0.256
4 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'39.947 1.097 0.318
5 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'40.024 1.174 0.077
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'40.098 1.248 0.074
7 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'40.204 1.354 0.106
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'40.244 1.394 0.040
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'40.333 1.483 0.089
10 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'40.360 1.510 0.027
11 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 1'40.620 1.770 0.260
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET DUCATI 1'40.815 1.965 0.195
13 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'40.925 2.075 0.110
14 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 1'40.975 2.125 0.050
15 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'41.030 2.180 0.055
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI 1'41.085 2.235 0.055
17 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 1'41.092 2.242 0.007

 

2011
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Comments

He dumped the bike early in qualifying. It looked like the front end went out, and he never seemed to recover from there. I think it sapped the confidence right out of him .... There were also a couple of televesion shots of Jeremy towards the end of qualifying and his body language seemed to speek volumes.

I see... I'll have to watch JB when I finally get to check out QP tonight.

I think they also never got bike #1 going again so it may be that curse of no 2 Ducatis ever being quite the same.
Still, this bodes poorly.

He got on an identical Ducati and found it was totally different imagine that..
Great lap from Casey likes the slippery conditions and will take some catching tomorrow.

. . . check Stoner's DNA! He was on another planet in this qual! What happened to everyone else, David? .5+ on 2nd and 3/4 on 3rd! If his tires hold up . . . hopefully we'll have a race for the podium, as #1 spot is gone!

Is it going to rain tonight? Even without that, you have to think that race tyres, and race fuel consumption will close everything up tomorrow. Still hard to bet against Stoner though.

Just about zero chance of rain tonight.

IMO, Stoner will walk it. In race trim, he can pull mid 39's out of his rear at will.
It's the battle for the remaining podium places that will (hopefully) entertain. Looking at FP3 and early Q times, J-Lo, PieMan, Pedrobot are all close enough that a last minute tweak could give any of them an advantage over the others. Sasquatch and the Mad Hatter seem to be too far back to join the main party.

Awesome! 4 laps in 38's, and 4 in 39's.
Of the others, Ben had 4 in 39's but no 38's.
Lorenzo 3 in 39's.
Dani 1 in 39's.
According to the Bridgestone guys the favoured combination will be a harder front and a softer spec rear. I imagine some will go for a different spec in the hope that as the track surface loads up the grip levels will change, but it doesn't bode well for a tight race.
Maybe Spies can pull somehting out of the bag........

Not much chance of Spies pulling something out of the bag... Stoner will need to make a mistake or have a problem with tyres.

The combination of the Honda's acceleration and Stoner’s ability to stand the bike up early on turn-16 has him about 10kph faster top speed than the factory Yamahas... which means that even if he misses the start, he should be able to pass at will.

According to the time sheets from last year and this, it took Stoner until the third session this year to match his 2010 lap times, set on that dreadful
D U C A T I that no one else seems to be able to ride. That said, in qualifying last year, Stoner only managed a 1:40.640, slower by three tenths than he had gone in FP2 in 2010 (probably due to track temp of 32 degrees C in FP2 in 2010, compared with 54 degrees C in qualifying last year). This year he ended up two seconds quicker on the Honda than he was on the Ducati last year. But the track is much better, hardly any bumps etc., and Rossi is 0.375 seconds slower than Stoner was last year. Interesting for a bloke that the English (and sundry other Euros) claimed was not trying last year... and so on and so forth. Now, on a decent motorcycle, he is showing just what he can do and rubbing a lot of the pundits' noses in it. Still, for the race, do not discount Ben Spies...