Pedrosa on pole in Indy, Stoner crashes

Dani Pedrosa

In a dramatic Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix qualifying session that was marred with heavy crashes, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who grabbed pole position in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. Pedrosa put in a new fastest ever lap in the high 1.38s, relegating Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo into second on the grid, after he had struggled with his bike in the preceding sessions. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso completes the front row, having improved steadily all weekend on his satellite machine. Heading up the second row in fourth is Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, who did incredibly well to walk away from a big crash whilst pushing hard on a hot lap. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will be very pleased with his day’s work, after the German rookie managed to put his bike fifth on the grid.

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, who set the sixth fastest time, suffered a monstrous highside early in the session, causing the red flag to appear, which resulted in small marginal fractures in the ankle. His race fitness will be further assessed tomorrow. In seventh place on the grid, Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was unable to match his teammate’s feat, but will no doubt be pleased with his session, after having suffered two crashes in previous outings.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden was viciously thrown off his bike in the same bend as Stoner and Spies (Turn 13), in the latter part of the session, briefly rendering him unconscious. The red flag was once again shown while Hayden received medical attention. He was spared any serious injuries, though has been declared unfit to race in light of his concussion and fractures to his 2-3 metacarpus. His time would have placed him eighth on the grid. This moved San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Ã�lvaro Bautista into eighth, with Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet putting in a terrific performance to place ninth on his CRT machine.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi could only manage 10th place, after suffering a scare in turn 13 with his bike, causing him to abort his fast lap. Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp and GPTech’s Aaron Yates, both CRT wildcards this weekend, managed to qualify for the race, in 22nd and 23rd place respectively. Many of the riders spoke out about the track surface after the qualifying session sighting safety concerns after the three heavy crashes.

Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who has been replaced by Toni Elías after fracturing three vertebrae in his back, is currently on his way back to Barcelona for further medical assessments.

DANI PEDROSA 1st. 1'38.813
"It was a tricky session because the asphalt was very slippery and we saw many nasty crashes already in Moto3 and then in MotoGP. It felt that you could control the slide, but suddenly many riders found themselves on the floor. It was crucial to keep the concentration on our riding and not make any mistake and achieve the lap time. To be in pole position is great at a track where the first sector is very tight and it's always good to have a clean start. We did a very good job today, testing the tires, working on the bike and being ready for the hot laps. I feel we have a good setting for tomorrow. We are confident for the race, but other riders look strong as well. Lorenzo picked up his pace, Spies is strong here and I hope Casey has nothing serious and can be on the grid. We will need to fight at the maximum.

Qualifying Results

Pos Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Dani Pedrosa 1'38.813 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo 1'38.913 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Andrea Dovizioso 1'39.235 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
4 Ben Spies 1'39.279 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
5 Stefan Bradl 1'39.437 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Casey Stoner 1'39.465 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Cal Crutchlow 1'39.549 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Nicky Hayden 1'39.748 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Alvaro Bautista 1'40.072 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
10 Randy De Puniet 1'40.437 FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
11 Valentino Rossi 1'40.763 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
12 Aleix Espargaro 1'40.803 ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Yonny Hernandez 1'41.197 COL BQR-FTR BQR
14 Karel Abraham 1'41.295 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Mattia Pasini 1'41.370 ITA ART Speed Master
16 Michelle Pirro 1'41.449 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
17 Toni Elías 1'41.866 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 James Ellison 1'41.978 GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
19 Danilo Petrucci 1'42.553 ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
20 Colin Edwards 1'42.599 USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
21 Ivan Silva 1'42.768 SPA BQR-FTR BQR
22 Steve Rapp 1'43.673 USA N/A Attack Performance
23 Aaron Yates 1'44.312 USA N/A GP Tech

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