The reigning world champion was on typical form for the 15 minute qualifying heat, ensuring he was the first man on track as the session began.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo scored a front row position with second place in this afternoon’s qualifying for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion was on typical form for the 15 minute qualifying heat, ensuring he was the first man on track as the session began. Wasting no time, the first flying lap saw him smash the all-time record for the circuit with an impressive 1’38.648 second lap.
Valentino Rossi endured a frustrating qualifying this afternoon, unable to find a set up with his YZR-M1 to challenge with the frontrunners. Rossi initially managed a 1’40.315 second lap to take ninth on his first outing before returning to the pits for fresh rubber.
His second outing on track saw him improve considerably, taking a second off his time to lap in 1’39.356 seconds. Despite the improvement the time was not enough to move up the grid so the nine time champion will start from ninth on the third row of the grid tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo (2nd / 1'38.471 / 8 laps): “I’m happy with the pace, it’s not bad. We still don't know how well our rivals are prepared for the race but I think I have a constant pace to finish the race with a good speed. The bike has improved by some small details every session so I’m happy with that also. I’m happy to be back on the first row and confident we can fight for the podium.
You can see that Marc, Dani and Stefan are really strong, normally we are with them but it's clear that this track is not so suitable for our bike, but it’s much better than it was in 2011. I am confident that we can fight to be not far from first position or maybe to fight for first.”
Valentino Rossi (9th / 1'39.356 / 8 laps): “I’m disappointed because in the practice we weren’t fantastic but better than we were this afternoon. Unfortunately in the fifteen minutes of the qualifying practice the other guys were able to improve more. Especially they are able to improve in braking and corner entry. Jorge did a fantastic job! I tried but when I put on the soft tyre I have more problems with the front and I cannot push a lot.
I just managed to improve my time a bit from the used tyre when we had done already fifteen laps. Anyway, we have to look forward and try to improve tomorrow. My pace is nothing fantastic but it's better than 9th position so I have to try to recover some positions and make a good race.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “We are very happy with the first row because we’ve come a long way from the last two races of injuries. Being on the front row for what is normally a difficult race for us is good. The bike is working well and improving step by step, the team has worked hard to understand what to do and where to get the time. Jorge pushed hard in qualifying and his pace is good so hopefully tomorrow we can fight for the podium again.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “An impressive lap from Jorge, I think he has really proved once again that he has the speed. For sure tomorrow is not going to be an easy race but we expect to be there. In the practices we have found good information and I think we will try something else tonight to test in the warm up, in order to be ready for the race.
Starting from the first row here is very important and I think tomorrow we will see him fighting as usual. Unfortunately Vale had some difficulties in the qualifying practice. It will be hard for him, he has to really attack from the beginning of the race but he has the capability to do that. Let’s see what we can put together tonight and what we can do tomorrow.”