2012 Indianapolis MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying on Saturday at Indianapolis:

Lorenzo Flies to Indianapolis Front Row

Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo gave it everything this afternoon in an incident packed qualifying session to take second on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Having struggled to find pace all weekend the team made a big step for qualifying, dramatically improving his speed and resulting in a qualifying time just 0.1 seconds from pole.

Team mate Ben Spies continued to show the impressive pace he’s displayed all weekend for qualifying. The Texan looked on target for a record breaking pole lap nearly half a second clear until a big high side between T13 and T14. The difficult track conditions at that corner also claimed Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden with serious crashes. Spies was able to rejoin for the last eight minutes of qualifying but was unable to improve on his time so will start from fourth on the grid tomorrow with a time 0.4 seconds from pole.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 2nd Time: 1'38.913 Laps: 29

“A really tough weekend so far, I really thought I wouldn’t be able to deliver but finally we modified the bike a lot with some weight on the rear to enter the corners with more confidence. I felt great as a result, could lean a lot and open the throttle quickly so I got second and was close to Dani. We don’t have a bad pace but not as good as Dani yet, we need to improve a little in the morning.”

Ben Spies

Position : 4th Time: 1'39.279 Laps: 26

“My shoulder is really sore after that crash, maybe some torn ligaments so it’s pretty painful. I’m getting some treatment and we’ll see how it is tomorrow. It’s frustrating as we’ve been going really well all weekend and I’ve been feeling really confident with the bike, I think we could have been on pole. The track surface is pretty tricky at the end there, it seems to have caught a few people today.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

“A very positive qualifying, Jorge found a way to ride the infield better to go with the bike improvements, over a second quicker than this morning. We’re happy with the result and the consistency which is important for tomorrow’s race so let’s see what happens.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“Everything was perfect for qualifying apart from the last 500 metres of Ben’s great lap. His rhythm is very good which is important. Unfortunately due to the crash Ben is very sore now and we hope he will be ok to ride tomorrow. Jorge did a great job, they solved the problems and he found his speed so it will be an interesting race tomorrow. It’s going to be quite hot so I think the physical condition will make the difference.”

Dani on pole in Indy with Casey receiving medical check up after big crash

In a dramatic qualifying for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Dani Pedrosa took pole position after his team mate Casey Stoner suffered a nasty crash on his fourth lap, in the first 10 minutes of the session.

Casey had a heavy highside in turn 13 and was immediately taken to the circuit medical center. The first X-Rays ruled out any serious injury, suggesting torn ligaments in the right ankle. Casey was taken to the local Methodist Hospital for further checks and scans. The Repsol Honda team will release a statement later today, as soon as more information is known.

With a final flying lap of 1'38.813, Dani set a new lap record on his way to his second pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his third of the 2012 season. Casey, who was fastest in the last free practice this morning, finally finished in sixth position with 1'39.465.

DANI PEDROSA 1st. 1'38.813

"It was a tricky session because the asphalt was very slippery and we saw many nasty crashes already in Moto3 and then in MotoGP. It felt that you could control the slide, but suddenly many riders found themselves on the floor. It was crucial to keep the concentration on our riding and not make any mistake and achieve the lap time. To be in pole position is great at a track where the first sector is very tight and it's always good to have a clean start. We did a very good job today, testing the tyres, working on the bike and being ready for the hot laps. I feel we have a good setting for tomorrow. We are confident for the race, but other riders look strong as well. Lorenzo picked up his pace, Spies is strong here and I hope Casey has noth ing serious and can be on the grid. We will need to fight at the maximum tomorrow".

Difficult qualifying for Ducati Team, Hayden out of race

After a positive start to the day for Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, who were able to further reduce their gaps to the front during the third free-practice session, the Ducati Team experienced a difficult qualifying session.

Approximately ten minutes from the end of the session, Nicky Hayden crashed in Turn 14 while on a fast lap with the soft tyre. After an initial check at the track’s Medical Center, the American was transferred to Indianapolis’ Methodist Hospital, where additional examinations revealed two small, non-displaced fractures to the second and third metacarpal on his right hand. The results of the CAT were negative, and the American should be discharged this evening or tomorrow morning, but in any case he won’t take part in the Grand Prix.

Valentino Rossi was confident after the practice session that he would be able to lower his time again in qualifying, but he wasn’t ultimately able to improve on the time he had set in cooler conditions.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:40.763)

“It’s a shame because this morning went pretty well. I was able to do some good laps both with the hard tyre and the soft, and in the end I wasn’t so far off, actually lapping on the pace of the second group. That made me optimistic, and I thought that I could go 1’39” in qualifying, but I wasn’t even able to match my time from free practice. I didn’t have rear grip, and the rear tyre was sliding a lot. On the last fast lap, I had a big risk in the same turn where Nicky crashed. This track has strange asphalt that has less grip than what we’re used to but that still wears the tyres. For that reason, we have tyres with stiffer carcases at our disposition here. We’ll try to make some changes for tomorrow in order to gain a bit more grip, and we’ll see what my race pace is.”


Team San Carlo Honda Gresini head into tomorrow's Indianapolis Grand Prix with high hopes despite not qualifying as their potential had suggested before this afternoon's qualifying session. Alvaro Bautista was unable to make the most of his soft tyres and will start from the third row in ninth place as a result, whilst for Michele Pirro it was a similar story and he starts 16th on the CRT after clocking his best lap on the hard option.

Alvaro Bautista ( 9th 1’ 40” 072) “We worked hard today and took a step forward with the setting from yesterday although it is still not where we ant it. In the afternoon we concentrated on getting some race data on the hard tyres and unfortunately the red flag interrupted us. Anyway, I was happy with our pace. On the soft tyre I actually had less grip and couldn't improve my lap times or grid position but I am confident for the race and with a good start I think I can be fighting for a top result. ”

Michele Pirro (16th 1’ 41” 449) “Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the most of the new tyres and so my best lap was on the hard option with ten laps on it. It's a shame but the positive thing is that the race pace is close to the guys in front of me and if I get a good start we can be with them in the race.”

Fausto Gresini “It's a shame that Alvaro and Michele were unable to make the most of the soft tyre otherwise they would have both been higher up the grid. Even so they have good race pace and if we get a good start it can be a good race for us."

Front row for Dovizioso in dramatic Indianapolis qualifying

A Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider will start from the front row of the grid for the fifth time this season after Andrea Dovizioso set the third fastest time in an incident-packed MotoGP qualifying session at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

In a session twice red flagged after reigning World Champion Casey Stoner and home crowd favourite Nicky Hayden fell heavily, Dovizioso produced a confident display to secure only his second front row start of the 2012 campaign.

Qualifying took place in gloriously sunny conditions with temperatures reaching close to 25 degrees and Dovizioso started the session confident he could challenge for a top three grid position.

The Italian rider had worked closely with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew to improve grip throughout the weekend and he ended practice this morning in a morale-boosting fifth place after clocking a best time of 1.40.018.

Dovizioso, who is bidding for a fifth rostrum of the season in tomorrow's 28-lap race, was an impressive 0.8s faster in qualifying and his best lap of 1.39.235 clinched his first front row start since the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

British rider Cal Crutchlow will head the third row of the grid after he qualified in seventh pos ition. A small crash this morning left the 26-year-old in ninth position at the end of practice but he too was able to demonstrate a significantly faster pace in qualifying to lap almost a second quicker.

Crutchlow set a best time of 1.39.549 and he was only 0.112s away from the top five and he is optimistic that he will be in the mix for another strong finish in tomorrow's race.

Andrea Dovizioso 3rd 1.39.235 – 30 laps:

“Honestly I didn't really expect to be on the front row today because Ben and Casey have both been very fast all weekend and I knew it was going to be difficult to finish in front of them. I am sorry for what happened to them but I am really happy to be on the front row because that is always important. It is even more at this track beca use the first section is very tight and it will be important to try and break with the leading group. I'm sure I could have gone a little bit faster but I was just on a new tyre when Nicky crashed and the red flags came out again. I am looking forward to the race now because we have improved the bike in each session and made some really positive progress. I am confident that we can make another step forward for tomorrow but the race is going to be very hard. This track is very slippery and you really have to pay attention and at the end of the race there will be a lot of sliding. I am sure I can fight close to the front to put myself in contention for a strong result.”

Cal Crutchlow 7th 1.39.549:

“I'm reasonably happy to be starting from seventh on the grid but obviously it would have been good to be further up the grid. The first couple of corners here are really tight, so you have to be pretty careful to avoid any trouble. If I can get away with those guys at the front I can do a good job but it is going to be a tough battle. There is a big group of guys close together, so there could be some close action out there tomorrow. For qualifying we made some good steps with the set-up of the bike but it was mayhem out there to try and go fast and get in a clean lap. Everybody was holding each other up and you'd waste a lot of time just cruising around trying to get space. That's why I'm seventh but I felt I could have done a better job but I've got no excuses. I've got to get a good start and try and get away with the leading group.”


Indianapolis, 18 August: in a thrilling Red Bull Grand Prix qualifying session marked with several heavy crashes, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was again a strong performer on soft rubber managing to put his bike fifth on the grid at the iconic Indianapolis circuit.

After yesterday’s first outing the German was looking for improvements ahead today’s qualifying and he took full advantage of the improved track conditions this morning (4th overall), after grip levels had improved dramatically. Bradl did incredibly well pushing hard in the 60-minute qualifying session setting a fastest lap time of 1’39.437 which secured him a second row start ahead tomorrow’s 28-lap race.

Bradl: “I am very pleased with the adjustments we made on the bike and P5 is a good place for us. Basically we are quite fast on both tyres: we had a good pace on hard tyre and I was expecting a bit more from the soft one but it’s okay anyway. I think we have a good race pace and a good overall package because today I felt very comfortable on the bike. The qualifying session was a bit weird with a lot of crashes: I found it a bit dangerous because out of the ideal line the surface was very slippery. The grip surely improved from yesterday but the track condition is not perfect”.

Pedrosa sets new record on way to Indy pole position

Round 11: Indianapolis Grand Prix – Qualifying Practice

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday 18 August 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-22°C; Track 29-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)

FP2 - Dry. Ambient 25-27°C; Track 49-51°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Dani Pedrosa was again the quickest rider at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Repsol Honda setting a new pole position record to take the top slot on the grid for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Pedrosa set a lap time of time of 1’38.813 on his twenty-fifth lap of the session to finish 0.100 seconds ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who found some pace after a difficult FP3 session where he was only seventh fastest. Completing the front row was Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Andrea Dovizioso who claimed his first front-row start for his new team. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet was top CRT rider in qualifying, the Frenchman setting an impressive time of 1’40.437 to qualify tenth on the grid for tomorrow’s race and just 1.6 seconds off the pole position time.

With track temperatures heading towards 50°C for the start of qualifying, most riders selected the harder option slicks front and rear for the first half of the qualifying session, before the field switched to the softer rear slicks when trying to set a quick time towards the end of the session. With similar track temperatures expected for tomorrow’s race, tyre choice could trend towards the harder compound options front and rear.

The lights will go out for tomorrow’s race at 14:00 local time (GMT -4), though before that the riders will take to the track for the 20 minute Warm Up session that starts at 9:40.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We had warmer weather today which pushed track temperatures past 50°C in qualifying and so teams used the first half of the session to do race simulations as we can expect similar temperatures tomorrow. Based on feedback from today’s sessions, at this stage we expect most riders, particularly those on works bikes, to select the harder slick tyres front and rear for the race, though some CRT riders could still opt for the softer rear option. Tyre temperatures recorded during the race simulations were well within operating limits, so our special construction rear slicks are coping well with the demands of this circuit.”


The third free practice session and the qualifying session for the MotoGP class were held today, at the circuit of Indianapolis.

In the practice of the morning, Pasini and his crew improved the setting of the ART machine, focusing on some details and working on the pace in view of the race.

The qualifying session was important to determine the choice of the tyres for tomorrow and set better lap times thorughout the time at disposal. The Italian ended in fifteenth position, and tomorrow he’ll start from the fifth row.

Mattia Pasini #54 - 15th with 1'41.370

“I’m quite happy with how things went today. We could have done a little bit better, but we didn’t manage to take advantage of the new tyre as we had planned because of the red flag, as the session was stopped. We worked well and we are quite fast, tomorrow we are going to put in our best effort to fight in the race with the other ART machines and to achieve a good result in this GP.”

Fifth row for Karel Abraham after crazy qualifying practice at Indy

Karel Abraham finished fourteenth in crazy quaylifing practice to Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Czech MotoGP rider reached his maximum 1:41,295 in last lap with 2,482 second gap to the fastest Dani Pedrosa.

Karel Abraham

“Lot of red flags, lot of brutal crashes. This was really tough qualifying practice. The track is better than last year, but it still slips a lot. I don´t remember so much highsides during one session. Unfortunately the last red flag brought lot of complications to us. It became in the moment when we had started to push hard. In the last eight minutes we were able to get faster, but only in last two laps. And it wasn´t enough. Fifth row is not good, of course. But the most important thing is to adapt to the specific condition of Indy track.”

Marco Grana, Cardion AB Motoracing chief mechanic

“We tried lot of options to improve grip of the bike, but the track is very slippery. There were three hard crashes during the qualifying practice. We have the same problems as anyone other. The track has no grip and it´s very hard to find ideal setup. The positive thing is that we are going faster and faster each session and we haven´t seen problems with tyres like last year. Karel feel good on the bike, but the feeling is not everything. We will try some other options tomorrow, but it´s obvious that it will be really difficult race.”

Complicated qualifying session for Edwards at Indy

Yesterday’s good performance with the hard tire did not repeat itself today when the NGM-Mobile Forward-Racing Team and Colin Edwards were hard at work during the qualifying session. The American rider will start the race in the middle of the 7th row, a position that does not reflect the hard work done by the team during these last two days.

Even thought the lap times are not excellent, the race pace with the hard tire could be good enough to be able to fight and gain some positions in the second and last American race in this 2012 season.

Colin Edwards – 20th (1´42.599)

“Today wasn’t exactly what we wanted as far as position but from where we started this morning we actually made some improvements. We went faster, we went back to an old (beginning of the year) electronics setting and it felt a lot better. Chassis side we changed the link with the one we usually use in the rain. The track is very bumpy and we thought it would have been a good idea to try it, and it worked; it was kind of a surprise. I just feel a little more confident, just need to get a good start and get some more laps under us.”

Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief

“We have had a very complicated weekend, towards the end of the qualifying session we found some interesting solutions in terms of the electronics. We know that our performance are not at the same level as the other CRTs, specially not the ARTs, so we have concentrated on the race setting that will probably include the hard tire for tomorrow’s race. We starting position is not ideal but we are hopeful for the race.”


POWER ELECTRONICS rider just 1.6 seconds off pole and team-mate Espargaró only three tenths behind in twelfth

After a crash-strewn qualifying practice for the Moto3 class, MotoGP followed suit this afternoon and the session was also interrupted twice by the red flag. Casey Stoner's pole challenge was ended ten minutes into the session by a nasty highside, leaving his team-mate Dani Pedrosa to take pole. Turns 13, 14 and 16 were the worst, with Spies and Hayden also crashing heavily to add to that of Hector Barberá yesterday. With Stoner's participation in the balance tomorrow the overnight favourite will be Pedrosa, the pair having dominated the weekend so far. The Spaniard broke the pole record by almost a second today but he will surely be challenged by series leader Jorge Lorenzo from second on the grid.

It was a good day for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team and all that remains to be decided for tomorrow is tyre choice. Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró are delighted with their progress so far, the Frenchman today lapping just 1.6 seconds off Pedrosa's pole time to qualify tenth and equal his best grid position of the season from the Spanish Grand Prix. Just three tenths and two grid positions behind him is his team-mate Aleix Espargaró, who hopes to put up a strong challenge in the fight for the top CRT position in tomorrow's race.

10th Randy De Puniet 1.40.437 (27 laps): "I am very satisfied with the result from qualifying. Tenth place is a product of our hard work here since yesterday. We found a good electronic setting which has allowed us to control the engine braking perfectly and we were able to use the first two outings this afternoon to try the hard tyres in case we want to use them tomorrow. We're still not sure because there is a big difference between them and the softs but they both offer good performance. I think I could have improved my lap time a little more but I caught one of the protective poles into turn one and it cut through the brake cable so I was lucky not to crash. Tenth place is a good result, it equals my best grid of the year from Jerez. It is hard work at this track but we have worked well and I hope we can back it up tomorrow."

12th Aleix Espargaró 1.40.803 (21 laps): "I'm really happy - even more so than when I have qualified as the top CRT in the past. I really enjoyed myself on the bike and I needed it after such a strange weekend at Laguna Seca. We have done a great job and the bike is working perfectly. I know we need to put a better lap together if we want to be close to Randy but I am not concerned about that right now. The important thing is that the bike set-up is great and we have found something that works at a difficult circuit. I'm looking forward to the race and the objective is to be fighting with my team-mate to be the top CRT."


INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012 - Dani Pedrosa turned the quickest lap ever by a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1 minute, 38.813 seconds, on his Repsol Honda to win the pole Saturday, Aug. 18 for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race.

Pedrosa, from Spain, broke the record of 1:38.850 set by his teammate, Casey Stoner, during qualifying in 2011. Pedrosa became the first rider to win the pole more than once for this event, as he also captured the top spot in 2009.

"I think the track will be a little bit different," Pedrosa said about the race Sunday. "But sure, most important is that more or less the setting is good. And the race here is always tough. It's warm, and we have tough competitors, and it's long. But sure confident, and I'll try to keep focus on the race and do a good race."

The 28-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.

2012 MotoGP points leader Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Andrea Dovizioso of Italy will join Pedrosa on the front row. 2010 World Champion Lorenzo continued his streak of qualifying on the front row all five years of this event with a lap of 1:38.913 on his Yamaha Factory machine. Dovizioso will start on the front row at IMS for the first time after turning a top lap of 1:39.235 on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.

American Ben Spies qualified fourth at 1:39.279 on his Yamaha Factory machine. But Spies was one of three top riders to suffer heavy, high-side crashes during the one-hour qualifying session, falling in Turn 13. He suffered a bruised right shoulder and was cleared to race by medical officials.

Fellow American Nicky Hayden will not race Sunday after suffering a concussion and a fracture of two bones in his right hand in a crash between Turns 14 and 15 on his Ducati Team bike. Hayden ended up eighth on the grid.

It remains uncertain whether defending World Champion Casey Stoner will race after his crash in Turn 13 on a Repsol Honda. He suffered small fractures to his right ankle and will be re-evaluated Sunday morning before his status to race is determined. He qualified sixth.

Americans Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates both qualified for the MotoGP race on wild-card entries fielded by American teams. Rapp earned the 22nd spot on the grid at 1:43.673 on his Attack Performance APR, while Yates will start 23rd at 1:44.312 on his GPTech BCL.

Pol Espargaro of Spain won the pole for the 26-lap Moto2 race, which starts at 12:20 p.m. Sunday. Sandro Cortese of Germany won the pole for the 23-lap Moto3 race, which starts at 11 a.m.

Hector Faubel of Spain was admitted to Methodist Hospital with trauma to his abdomen after crashing in Turn 16 during the early stages of Moto3 qualifying. A CT scan showed no major injuries.

PJ Jacobsen, from Montgomery, N.Y., was declared the winner of the first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race even though he fell out of the lead on Lap 6. Jacobsen's spill triggered a four-bike pileup, causing AMA officials to red-flag the race short of its scheduled 10-lap distance.

Kyle Wyman took the lead when Jacobsen crashed. But since the race was red-flagged before Wyman reached the Yard of Bricks start-finish line, the final race order was determined by the running order on the last completed lap, Lap 5.

Wyman ended up second, with Bennie Carlson third in the first of two races for Harley-Davidson XR1200 machines. The second 10-lap race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Public gates open at 7 a.m.

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