Super Spies storms to sensational maiden pole position Ben Spies' remarkable rookie MotoGP campaign hit a new high today when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider stormed to a stunning maiden pole position at the iconic Indianapolis Motor ...
Super Spies storms to sensational maiden pole position
Ben Spies' remarkable rookie MotoGP campaign hit a new high today when the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider stormed to a stunning maiden pole position at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Texan thrilled a large and sun drenched home crowd with a startling performance at the historic 4.216km circuit, Spies topping the timesheets with an incredible late attack to claim a first pole position for the Tech 3 squad since the China Grand Prix in 2008.
Spies had spent most of the qualifying session, which was run in searing temperatures that peaked at a punishing 33 degrees, concentrating on a crucial race set-up for tomorrow's 28-lap encounter.
But as soon as the field switched to the softer compound Bridgestone rear tyre, Spies was in devastating form and always looked like challenging for a second successive front row start.
There were 12 minutes left on the clock when a lap of 1.40.465 saw him rocket from ninth to the top of the timesheets. That impressive pace put him a fraction ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.
Lorenzo and compatriot Nicky Hayden were both able to lap faster than Spies in the closing stages and relegate him momentarily to third. But the 26-year-old wasn't finished and he produced an immaculate lap of 1.40.105 to seize back the initiative by 0.220s from Lorenzo.
Spies was denied pole position in the dying moments at the previous round in Brno, but his pace today was unmatched and only Lorenzo, Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso lapped within 0.5s of the reigning World Superbike champion.
Colin Edwards will start tomorrow's race from ninth, his final grid position certainly not a reflection of his pace on race tyres. The 36-year-old has shown strong form all weekend on the harder compound Bridgestone rear tyre but was unable to significantly improve his pace on the softer option this afternoon.
Sizzling track temperatures that hit 54 degrees meant grip was at a premium this afternoon and although Edwards did find himself in the top six at one stage, he had to settle for a spot on the third row with a best time of 1.41.432.
Ben Spies 1st 1.40.105 -- 28 laps
"This is a great feeling for me to get my first MotoGP pole position and for it to come in front of the American crowd and here at Indianapolis with all the history makes it even more special. And I'm glad for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too. This team helped catapult me into this position and I've been trying to give as much for them as I can, even though I'll be moving to Yamaha's factory team next year. I've got to say I really put it on the line this afternoon. I'd come so close at Brno a couple of weeks ago to getting my first pole position and I really wanted to finish the job on home soil. And being on the front row with Nicky too is pretty incredible for MotoGP racing in America. There was no way coming into this weekend that I thought this result was possible. Bur I've been able to do it and now I'm going to concentrate on getting a good start and giving it everything in the race. I'd love a podium and my best result at home but I'm not going to get ahead of myself. But right now I'll certainly enjoy today."
Colin Edwards 9th 1.41. 232- 27 laps
"Honestly I expected to be a bit higher up than ninth and after this morning I felt I could get into the mid-40s and be on the second row. But it was really hot out there this afternoon and it made the track quite slippery. When you put the soft tyres on you expect to go a fair bit faster but I didn't really improve much at all. Normally I'd expect to shave off three-quarters-of-a-second but I just didn't have the grip in the heat. On the hard tyre for the race we've got a good setting and I'm confident of a strong race. I've had a good pace on the hard tyre all weekend so a top six and my best result of the season is not out of the question. I'd like to congratulate Ben too because his performance today was just fantastic. He did an awesome job and it is great for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too."
-source: tech 3