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American Ben Spies shocks MotoGP paddock
Ben Spies
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.


Pos Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Ben Spies 1m 40.105 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
2 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 40.325 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
3 Nicky Hayden 1m 40.336 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 40.559 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
5 Dani Pedrosa 1m 40.637 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Casey Stoner 1m 40.664 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
7 Valentino Rossi 1m 41.005 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
8 Marco Simoncelli 1m 41.092 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
9 Colin Edwards 1m 41.232 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
10 Loris Capirossi 1m 41.512 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
11 Alvaro Bautista 1m 41.534 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
12 Marco Melandri 1m 41.623 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
13 Hiroshi Aoyama 1m 41.631 JPN HONDA Interwetten Honda MotoGP
14 Aleix Espargaro 1m 41.649 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
15 Mika Kallio 1m 41.856 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
16 Hector Barbera 1m 41.896 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
17 Randy De Puniet 1m 41.923 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
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