Lapping under perhaps the best conditions Indianapolis has to offer in late-August, MotoGP took to The Brickyard for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Though Indy’s newly paved track failed to impress riders with its first impression, as more rubber was put down on the racing line during the weekend’s sessions, the pavement increased its grip, making for some impressive lap times in the later practice sessions.
With Casey Stoner breaking Indy’s outright best lap time during FP3 with a 1’39.552 lap time (the previous “Best Lap Time” was set in 2009 by Dani Pedrosa with a 1’39.790), all eyes were on the Australian during qualifying to see if he could further push Indy’s outright top lap on two-wheels even further down on the stopwatch. Eyes were also on American Ben Spies, who has been consistently at the top of the timesheet all weekened.
Riding at a track he calls home, Spies said after the Free Practice that if he could get close to Stoner’s pace, he had a serious shot at a victory in front of his American fans. Was Spies within striking at the end of Qualifying, find out after the jump.
With Casey Stoner decimating Indy’s track record again, the Repsol Honda rider posted a 1’38.850 for the pole position, over half a second quicker than Ben Spies, who said his setup wouldn’t let him push the front tire any further than he was. Following Spies onto the front row was teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who overcame dismal practice sessions to round out the Top 3. With the two factory Yamahas up front, Stoner should have plenty to contend with if he doesn’t make a breakaway start.
Making bids from the second row are Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, and Colin Edwards, as the Texas Tornado showed promise all weekend, and clearly knows his way around the Indy infield. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s race to see how it all sorts out, but it looks like it could be the fastest GP race at Indy ever held.
Qualifying Results from the Indianapolis GP at Indy:
|1||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Repsol Honda Team||1’38.850||-|
|2||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’39.373||0.523|
|3||1||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||1’39.629||0.779|
|4||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||1’39.947||1.097|
|5||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||1’40.024||1.174|
|6||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’40.098||1.248|
|7||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’40.204||1.354|
|8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||1’40.244||1.394|
|9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||1’40.333||1.483|
|10||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP||1’40.360||1.510|
|11||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1’40.620||1.770|
|12||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Pramac Racing Team||1’40.815||1.965|
|13||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1’40.925||2.075|
|14||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Ducati Team||1’40.975||2.125|
|15||24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||LCR Honda MotoGP||1’41.030||2.180|
|16||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||1’41.085||2.235|
|17||65||Loris CAPIROSSI||ITA||Pramac Racing Team||1’41.092||2.242|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved