Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 26, 2002) --Â It was a disappointing day for Team Motorola on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia, as Michael Andretti qualified 16th for the Honda Indy 300 with a time of 1:32.439 Â (108.850 mph).
Surfers Paradise, Australia (October 26, 2002) -- It was a disappointing day for Team Motorola on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia, as Michael Andretti qualified 16th for the Honda Indy 300 with a time of 1:32.439 (108.850 mph). Andretti struggled to improve upon his provisional qualifying effort but was unable to climb up the charts even as the track came to the rest of the field. Team Motorola will use pit strategy during Sunday's race to improve track position and make a run for the podium "down under."
Cristiano da Matta took his seventh pole of the season today with a time of 1:30.204 and broke the track record that was set yesterday by Bruno Junqueira. Junqueira, who was right behind da Matta today, will line up second based on his provisional pole from yesterday. Tony Kanaan rounds out the top three starters with a time of 1:30.427. Michael's technical partners, Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti, qualified 5th and 8th respectively, with times of 1:30.731 and 1:31.040.
Team Motorola will get back on track tomorrow morning for warm up at 10 a.m. local time (8 p.m. ET Saturday). The 70-lap race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel starting at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 a.m. ET Sunday).
Michael Andretti -- #39 Honda-Lola-Bridgestone
"It's very, very disappointing. I don't know why we were slow today, I just can't explain it. That was as fast as I could go. I wish I knew why we didn't pick up the speed like everyone else did. I'm pulling my hair out right now. I barely went quicker than yesterday and everyone else is two seconds quicker than yesterday. We are going to use strategy to move up, but things are going to have fall into place for Team Motorola."
Kim Green -- General Manager
"Tough day. I'm really surprised. I thought we had a better car than 16th. Some of the other drivers really got their rhythm right over the curbs and we just didn't have a car good enough to match that. Michael was certainly attacking the race track as hard as he knows how to, but we just didn't get it done. Starting this far back means we can look at different strategies and we will certainly play those out tomorrow and try and pass as many people as we can in the pits."