Yamaha Paint the Front Row Red and White at Indianapolis
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo scored the first double Yamaha front row of the year today in qualifying for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Local hero Spies continued to impress with the strong form in evidence from the beginning of the weekend. The qualifying session saw him quickly up to impressive speed. Despite repeatedly breaking under the pole time for the first two splits Spies was unable to topple Casey Stoner from the top spot so will start from second place for the race.
Reigning World Champion Lorenzo finally made a breakthrough mid-qualifying after struggling for the first three sessions to find a competitive set up on the newly surfaced Indianapolis track. A big set up change to his YZR-M1 with less than half the session to go changed his fortunes, allowing him to climb quickly up to third behind his team mate with two quick laps in succession. Lorenzo will now use the valuable warm up time tomorrow morning to test the consistency of the set up before the race.
Position 2nd - Time 1.39.373 - Laps 25
“It was good today, we didn’t have a fast lap in the end but we got on the front row. We did over 30 laps on a set of tyres and went quite quick at the end, still able to do 39s which is good. The last couple of laps we tried our hardest to catch Casey but with five minutes to go I think I ripped my tank spacer off that holds me back on the bike which didn’t help. I wasn’t disappointed as I knew we had a gap to fourth so we’d be on the front row. It wasn’t the perfect session and Casey was just too fast. I think the race will be different; the tyres will be pretty greasy after ten laps but my bike’s working really well on used tyres so we’ll see what happens.”
Position 3rd - Time 1.39.629 - Laps 26
“Qualifying was much better than the other three practices so far this weekend. I improved a lot and had a lot more confidence with the front, we changed one bike completely which worked. We are much more confident for tomorrow now. I would like to be closer to Casey, but seven tenths is better than one second and a half. It’s going to be a very tough race for everybody. The front tyre, especially on the left side is graining from the fourth lap so it’s going to be a complicated ride. Let’s see what happens.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Well I can say one thing, we finally found the right direction to go in which is where we struggled until half way through qualifying. With the bike adjustment we improved a lot, we fitted a qualifying tyre and Jorge pushed for two laps. The bike was stable and we were quite pleased with the result. Ben has been spot on the whole weekend and I think he will be a big contender for the victory for tomorrow. We need to find consistency now and see if we can improve a little bit more for the race.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“The overall result is pretty good today, both riders are on the front row and there is no better way to start the race. Ben’s rhythm is very good so I am positive; we have done a really good job so far. Jorge improved every session and is now up there so I am expecting a really good battle tomorrow.”