Indianapolis GP: Bridgestone qualifying report

Rossi continues Bridgestone's pole run, Stoner strong second Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has taken his second pole position of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon to extend Bridgestone's run of...

Rossi continues Bridgestone's pole run, Stoner strong second

Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has taken his second pole position of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon to extend Bridgestone's run of pole positions this season to an unbroken nine.

Rossi's lap of 1m40.776 secured him the top spot on the grid for the first time since Mugello, while Ducati's Casey Stoner finished the session in a closely-run second place just 0.084s behind the Italian. It will be Stoner's tenth front row start of the season and retains his lead at the head of the 'Qualifier of the Year' award classification with four qualifying sessions remaining this season.

Three additional Bridgestone-shod riders claimed top ten results in hot weather conditions at the Speedway. Rizla Suzuki wildcard Ben Spies set an impressive fifth fastest time in just his third ever MotoGP event. Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa finished his first ever qualifying session on Bridgestone tyres in eighth place ahead of his Spanish compatriot Toni Elias who took ninth place.

After Friday's unwelcome wet conditions, there was finally an opportunity for MotoGP riders to carry out their first laps on a dry Indianapolis track today. Bridgestone carried out its slick tyre evaluation during the afternoon session with some promising initial results, but longevity over the 28 lap race distance will be crucial with the demanding characteristics of the various types of asphalt around the Speedway's MotoGP course.

Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

How were Bridgestone's first dry practice sessions of the weekend?

"This morning the track was still quite wet from overnight rain so we were not able to conduct any meaningful running, as the circuit's conditions gradually improved during the session. Tyre evaluation in such conditions is not particularly useful, but thankfully the conditions for this afternoon's qualifying were ideal. We looked at medium and hard specification race tyres and could see some initially pleasing results. Even though we have been limited on time, many of our riders already have a good idea of which tyre spec they will use if the conditions are the same on Sunday afternoon."

How was qualifying tyre performance?

"We brought a new qualifying spec for this weekend's race based on valuable data that we gathered in the post-Misano test, and I think we can be satisfied with the performance. Valentino put in a great lap to take pole and it was good to see Casey so competitive as well. These two guys were significantly ahead of the next quickest rider and have allowed us to take our fourth consecutive 1-2 in qualifying. A special mention must also go to Ben Spies for a great result, especially with such limited experience using our qualifying tyres. Dani Pedrosa, in his first qualifying session on Bridgestone tyres, also did a good job to take eighth."

Weather: Dry - Air 32C, Track 42C (Bridgestone measurement)

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Ben Spies , Toni Elias , Dani Pedrosa