Rossi claims historic pole for MotoGP's Indianapolis debut Valentino Rossi took a historic pole position today for the inaugural MotoGP race at Indianapolis today; tomorrow will see him become the first rider in 99 years to head a motorcycle...
Rossi claims historic pole for MotoGP's Indianapolis debut
Valentino Rossi took a historic pole position today for the inaugural MotoGP race at Indianapolis today; tomorrow will see him become the first rider in 99 years to head a motorcycle race at the famous 'Brickyard'. The Fiat Yamaha rider hung onto the front grid spot by just 0.084 seconds ahead of Casey Stoner to take his second pole of the season, with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo rounding out the front row for the second race running.
After the torrential downpours of yesterday, the rain abated today and this morning's practice was run on a drying track. Rossi was quick to find an effective dry set-up and was second fastest, finding the agile nature of his M1 well suited to the demands of the 4.218 km track. Qualifying this afternoon was run in bright sunshine and Rossi had an enjoyable hour, fine-tuning his setting before putting in several fast laps with a Bridgestone qualifying tyre, his final one good enough to hold off Stoner and Lorenzo's last-minute challenges.
The riders' now have one wet and one dry day of set-up under their belts at this new track but, with rain forecast tomorrow, it seems that the wet one could be the one they need. Tomorrow's 28-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 1500 local time (GMT -4).
Valentino Rossi - Position: 1 Time: 1'40.776 Laps: 26
"I'm very happy to get the chance to ride on this circuit in the dry, it's a great track and I had a lot of fun today. It's technical and difficult, which I like, and it seems to suit our bike and tyres well. There are places to pass, especially turn one and turn ten, and the grip of the new asphalt is much better in the dry. If it's like this tomorrow, then we can have a great race! Unfortunately this seems unlikely so we will have to wait and see what the situation is tomorrow at race time. If it's 'normal' rain then we will be okay, if it's like yesterday then we have to take a decision all together about racing. I am really happy with the work we did today, we found a great setting for the qualifying tyres this afternoon and I made some good laps, especially the last two. I knew I could try for 1'40 and I was able to do 40.7. Whatever the weather tomorrow, this pole position will be very important."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"Valentino did a great lap on his last qualifying tyre and it's fantastic to be on pole position for the first MotoGP race here. We're really happy! Now we have to wait and see for tomorrow, we're all hoping for weather like this but there is a big question mark. We did a great job to find a good setting today so we know that we're in good shape in the dry, but we were also fast yesterday afternoon so I think that we can be competitive in both types of conditions. Thanks to all the team for a great job today, this is an important pole position."
Lorenzo takes second consecutive front row for Indy debut
Jorge Lorenzo put his Fiat Yamaha Team M1 on the front row of the grid for the second race in a row today, qualifying third for the first ever MotoGP race at the historic Indianpolis Motor Speedway. As in Misano, Lorenzo will share the front row with team-mate Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, albeit with their positions reversed after Rossi took a stunning pole position this afternoon.
Today's two sessions were run in very different conditions to yesterday's washout, with this afternoon's qualifying taking place under sunny skies with ambient temperatures in the mid thirties. Lorenzo made steady progress with his dry set-up over the hour and moved into provisional pole position with 12 minutes to go. He was then relegated down the grid in the last ten minutes but his last effort with a Michelin qualifying tyre was good enough to put him back on the front row.
Unfortunately more bad weather is expected tomorrow so yesterday's wet set-up looks like it will come in useful. The race will be run over 28 laps and the lights will go out at 1500 East Coast time (GMT-4).
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 3 Time: 1'41.177 Laps: 27
"I am so happy that this track is different to how I expected, because I really enjoyed myself this afternoon! I thought it would be quite dangerous but in fact I feel really safe on my M1 here, which is allowing me to be fast. Some of the corners are really close together which I enjoy because it means I can ride very smoothly in the style that I like. It's a good track for me. We are on the front row for the second race in a row and this shows that we are truly getting back to our best, so I want to thank my team for their work, both here and in Misano. We are still not perfect in the wet or the dry so we need to make some improvements in warm-up, but we don't know what the weather will do tomorrow so we will have to wait and see."
Daniele Romagnoli -Team Manager
"This was a good qualifying session for us today and Jorge rode very well with the qualifying tyre. For the race in the dry it looks like we have quite a good pace but we still need to improve in section one, where we need more front grip. We have some things to try in warm-up so we hope it will be dry, but we have to be ready for a wet day as well. If that's the case then we will have to try to confirm what we found yesterday. Anyway, it's good to be on the front row so we hope that we can make the most of it once again."