He may be a newcomer to MotoGP but he certainly has been impressive straight out. American MotoGP rookie Ben Spies upset the establishment on Saturday in Indianapolis by putting his 2nd tier Yamaha on pole.
Ben Spies will start a MotoGP race from pole position for the first time on Sunday at Indianapolis after the rookie laid down a fantastic hot lap in qualifying. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie posted a best time of 1’40.105 on his 26th of 28 laps, delighting the home crowd and enjoying another highlight in what has already been an eventful weekend following confirmation of his factory ride for 2011.
Spies was 0.220s quicker than Championship leader and last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo who took his Fiat Yamaha M1 machine round in the second fastest time, and there was further joy for the American fans as Nicky Hayden took his first Ducati front-row place with third. Hayden was just a hundredth of a second behind Lorenzo on the timesheet in a typically action-packed and frantic hour-long session.
Andrea Dovizioso had held top spot briefly and his best time of 1’40.559 placed him fourth on the starting grid, with his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa fifth at just under eight-hundredths further back. Casey Stoner, who had been fastest in both practice sessions, could only qualify in sixth as he lapped 0.559s off the pace of Spies on his Ducati Desmosedici GP10.
The third row will be headed up by Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) and the Italian was left frustrated but uninjured when he fell at turn six with little over five minutes to go – his second fall of the day following an earlier one in practice. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) also had a crash in the final stages of the session but managed to secure eighth place, equaling his best qualification so far this season, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) completing the top ten.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team) was 13th in his first QP since returning from injury, whilst Aleix Espargar¢ (Pramac Racing) had a fall at turn 13 and eventually qualified in 14th.
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