Mexico City, Mexico (November 15, 2002) -- Team Motorola had all the pieces in place for a solid qualifying effort in Mexico City but couldn't complete the puzzle at the 2.786- mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez. Michael Andretti posted a lap good...
Mexico City, Mexico (November 15, 2002) -- Team Motorola had all the pieces in place for a solid qualifying effort in Mexico City but couldn't complete the puzzle at the 2.786- mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez. Michael Andretti posted a lap good enough for fifth place on the time sheet but a spin on his fourth lap of the session brought out a red flag and with the red flag came a penalty. Andretti was forced to settle for his second fastest lap (1:27.355 seconds, 114.814 mph) placing him 13th on the provisional grid. Team Motorola had hoped to put up a fast time today as the weather forecast for tomorrow calls for showers, which would mean today's qualifying times could stand if Saturday's session is run in the wet.
Bruno Junqueira earned a point and a guaranteed front row start after earning the provisional pole position with a fast lap of 1:25.941 seconds (116.703 mph). Christian Fittipaldi was second with a lap of 1:26.027 seconds (116.587 mph) while Michael's technical partner Dario Franchitti was third fastest with 1:26.147 seconds (116.424 mph). Franchitti's teammate Paul Tracy was seventh in provisional qualifying with a lap of1:26.971 seconds (115.321 mph).
Team Motorola will get back on track tomorrow morning for practice at 10 a.m. local time with final qualifying set to begin at 1:45 p.m. The qualifying session will be broadcast on Speed Channel starting at 3:30 p.m. eastern.
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It is disappointing for us today. Team Motorola gave me a good car, a top-five car, but we had a spin that brought out a red flag and cost us a position near the front. Having the spin early made it a long session, we knew we were fighting an uphill battle after that. We've improved the car all day to get a quick lap and unfortunately we aren't able to show that on the time sheets. This is a first class facility. It is a physical track that is very technical which makes its challenging from a drivers standpoint." <pre> Morning Practice Provisional Qualifying Position: 5th Position: 13th Speed: 113.328 mph Speed: 114.814 mph Time: 1:28.501 seconds Time: 1:27.355 seconds </pre> Tony Cotman -- Team Manager
"We were a top-five car today but unfortunately that spin put us behind the 8-ball. We should be pretty happy though, we know we have a fast car and we can still work on it, so it's a shame our time today doesn't reflect that. Looking at the weather forecast for tomorrow it was crucial to put a good time in so now we hoping for another dry qualifying session."