MotoGP: Three Crashes, Two Red Flags, & One Qualifying Session at the Indianapolis GP

08/18/2012 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Considering it is August here in Indiana, MotoGP has had pretty much perfect weather for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP thus far, with only a brief rainstrom hitting the track late Thursday afternoon and into the evening. With perfect conditions for Saturday, qualifying proved to be an eventful day for all the classes, as a number of riders had crashes that warranted the red flag coming out at the American circuit.

With riders continuing to complain not only of the three different types of asphalt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but now also about the fine dirt on the course, the issue of whether IMS is safe for MotoGP has been raised with the six red flags that were out in the four qualifying motorcycle sessions held today. Though no one hit any obstacles or walls, with three riders questionable for competing in Sunday’s MotoGP class race, it is not a stretch of the truth to say that the Indy GP will be challenging.

With Moto3 getting its own share of crashes and a red flag, MotoGP also followed suit with three serious high-sides and two stoppages to the session (Moto2 was eventful, but sans red flags). First to be victim to the final turn at Indy was Casey Stoner, who had to be stretchered off the course, and later would be diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right foot/leg. With his participation questionable for tomorrow’s race, we will have to wait and see what the doctors report either tonight or tomorrow morning for the reigning-World Champion.

Second to go down was Ben Spies, who also high-sided in the final section. Staying on the ground briefly, Spies surprisingly would walk himself off the track, and rejoin the session after its third start. Qualifying fourth overall, Spies then went to the medical center to get checked by the doctors. While Spies on Twitter is saying he plans on racing tomorrow, there is considerable speculation if that will be the case. A definitive statement from the team is expected tonight.

The third crash, and second red flag for MotoGP qualifying, came due to Nicky Hayden’s high-side, again in the same section as Stoner and Spies. Knocked unconscious from the fall, Hayden was last reported also to be headed to the hospital for diagnosis, with Rossi saying the Kentucky Kid was suffering from a concussion. Arriving at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital, Hayden reported saw Casey Stoner in the ER, and thought the two had collided. Concussed, he has had a CAT scan of his head, and x-ray of his hand. Though feeling better, his participation in the Indianapolis GP is very unlikely at this point in time.

Proving to be an equal opportunity corner when it comes to flipping bikes, The Doctor also had a moment going through the final bends, though he was able to save the crash.

For the riders left standing, qualifying was a fast and eventful hour. Dani Pedrosa popped Indy’s Best Lap cherry, marking another track where the 1000cc bikes are superior to the ones of the 800cc era. Putting in a 1’38.813, Pedrosa had to watch his time almost be beaten by Jorge Lorenzo, but the Yamaha-man struggled through the second section all session, and was unable to make the ground to Pedrosa.

The two aliens will be joined on the front row by Andrea Dovizioso, who survived the attrition, despite an altercation with a CRT rider in the closing moments.

The ride of the day might go to Team Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, as the Frenchman put his Aprilia ART tenth on the timesheet, despite running over a piece of debris on the front straight, which then punctured the bike’s belly pan and cut off one of the brake lines to the front calipers.

In other news, both American wild card entries qualified for Sunday’s race, with Aaron Yates just barely making the cut with his Suzuki-powered GP Tech machine.

Qualifying Results from the US GP at Indianapolis, USA:

1Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda335.51’38.813
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha335.51’38.9130.100
3Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha334.01’39.2350.422
4Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha333.11’39.2790.466
5Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda334.21’39.4370.624
6Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda334.61’39.4650.652
7Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha331.01’39.5490.736
8Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati333.31’39.7480.935
9Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda334.01’40.0721.259
10Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART317.81’40.4371.624
11Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati333.31’40.7631.950
12Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART318.61’40.8031.990
13Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR312.31’41.1972.384
14Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati333.11’41.2952.482
15Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART311.91’41.3702.557
16Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR315.71’41.4492.636
17Toni ELIASSPAPramac Racing TeamDucati332.91’41.8663.053
18James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART310.01’41.9783.165
19Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda296.91’42.5533.740
20Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter315.01’42.5993.786
21Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR314.01’42.7683.955
22Steve RAPPUSAAttack PerformanceAPR300.91’43.6734.860
23Aaron YATESUSAGPTechBCL286.11’44.3125.499

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved

  • Jonathan

    Hats off to Bradl – this young pup is really impressing here. Best wishes to Nicky and here’s hoping he’s somehow fit for his home race.

  • JW

    this track has a limited future in MGP

  • Jonathan

    Yeah, no-one’s gonna want to race there if they can’t figure out wtf is going on with these highsides. I’m also minded of the scene in Jaws where the mayor won’t close the beach because of the financial losses…

    I just heard that Nicky is doubtful for tomorrow and am gutted for The Kid.

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