Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa won the pole Aug. 29 for the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a MotoGP track-record lap of 1 minute, 39.730 seconds.
Pedrosa, a 23-year-old native of Barcelona, Spain, maintained a narrow lead over second-place qualifier Jorge Lorenzo until he pulled off his record lap on his 28th of 30 total laps in the qualifying session.
Racing starts at noon (ET) Sunday at IMS, with the MotoGP race at 3 p.m. Morning warm-ups in all three classes – MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc – start at 9:40 a.m.
Pedrosa and Hayate Racing Team rider Marco Melandri also set the record for the fastest speed by a motorcycle in IMS history during qualifying, as both riders recorded a trap speed of 197.8 mph (318.3 km/h) on the main straightaway.
Fellow Spaniard Lorenzo will start on the middle of the front row after posting a top lap of 1:40.236 on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team entry. His teammate, 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner and six-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, will start third on the No. 46 machine after lapping the IMS road course at 1:40.609. Rossi set the previous MotoGP track record in qualifying for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2008 at 1:40.776.
Dani Pedrosa Speaks…
"I’m really happy with this pole position because we have been fast all weekend so far, in the wet as well as the dry, so this is very positive," Pedrosa said. "I’ve been comfortable on the machine from the start and things have just clicked here – it’s not as if we’ve made any big changes for this race. We can’t relax at all, though, because I’m sure the other riders will improve and we know how strong our rivals have been this season.
"I’m really looking forward to the race because it looks like the weather should be good – a big contrast to last year – and it will be great to feel the race day atmosphere at Indianapolis in more normal conditions than last year’s wash-out. Now we’ll just stay focused and concentrate on our preparation for tomorrow."
The forecast for the second running of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday is excellent, calling for partly sunny skies and a high temperature of 70 degrees.
Saturday’s weather conditions were ideal for speed as cool, partly sunny conditions prevailed throughout the MotoGP morning practice and the afternoon qualifying session.
No. 15 San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex De Angelis will start fourth, his MotoGP career-best qualifying effort thanks to a lap of 1:40.620, and American riders Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden will start fifth and sixth, respectively.
Edwards, of Houston, posted a lap of 1:40.961 on the No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., ran 1:41.067 on the No. 69 Ducati Team bike.
Edwards slid off his bike in Turn 7 less than 10 minutes before the end of the qualifying session but was unhurt. His fifth-place qualification ties his season best set in Japan, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Hayden’s sixth-place start is his best since qualifying fourth at Germany.
Julian Simon, the 22-year-old rider of the No. 60 Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc motorcycle, won pole for Sunday’s 125cc class race with a record lap of 1:49.337. It was his fifth pole of the year in 125cc World Championship competition. Simon, of Villacañas, Spain, qualified 10th at the 2008 Red Bull Indianapolis GP in the 250cc class, returned to 125cc for the 2009 season and leads the series points standings.
Mike Di Meglio, of Toulouse, France, will start on pole for the 250cc World Championship race Sunday after a record lap of 1:44.341 on the No. 63 Mapfre Aspar Team 250cc bike.
Di Meglio, 21, won the 125cc World Championship in 2008. This is his first-career pole in the 250cc series.
Public gates open at 7 a.m. (ET) on Race Day, and track activity begins at 9:40 a.m. with the 125cc class warm-up session, followed by the 250cc and MotoGP class warm-up sessions at 10:10 and 10:40 a.m., respectively.
The first race of the day is the 23-lap 125cc class race at noon. The 250cc riders will contest their 26-lap race at 1:15 p.m.
The grid presentation for the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP begins at 2:15 p.m. and the 28-lap MotoGP race gets underway at 3 p.m. The race will be broadcast live on FOX.