MotoGP: Ben Spies on Pole at Indy

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MotoGP Qualifying Results

The American Ben Spies displayed his raw talent in MotoGP, placing his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha on pole position for tomorrow’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 18-race championship.

Under hot conditions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Spies qualified for his maiden pole after piloting his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1 to a blistering 1:40.105. The Texan now gives the Tech 3 team there first pole since the China Grand Prix in 2008.

Ben Spies says: “This is a great feeling for me to get my first MotoGP pole position and for it to come in front of the American crowd and here at Indianapolis with all the history makes it even more special. And I’m glad for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too. This team helped catapult me into this position and I’ve been trying to give as much for them as I can, even though I’ll be moving to Yamaha’s factory team next year.”

“I’ve got to say I really put it on the line this afternoon. I’d come so close at Brno a couple of weeks ago to getting my first pole position and I really wanted to finish the job on home soil. And being on the front row with Nicky too is pretty incredible for MotoGP racing in America. There was no way coming into this weekend that I thought this result was possible.”

“But I’ve been able to do it and now I’m going to concentrate on getting a good start and giving it everything in the race. I’d love a podium and my best result at home but I’m not going to get ahead of myself. But right now I’ll certainly enjoy today.”

While qualifying, Spies and his team mainly concentrated on bike setup in the 28 laps they ran. With 12 minutes remaining on the qualifying clock, Spies was in a hot competition for the pole with Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and yet another American, Ducati Time rider Nicky Hayden. But he produced his fastest lap towards the end, beating out Lorenzo by 0.220 of a second.

This is Spies best start of the season, his other coming at Brno when he started from second on the grid. It was also announced on that Spies will be on the factory Yamaha team with Jorge Lorenzo for 2011.

This is Lorenzo’s 11th consecutive front row start for 2010, but it was a hard one for the Spaniard. Lorenzo said the track was very slippery and bumpy, which is having the team work even more.

Lorenzo will be starting between two Americans tomorrow, as Hayden took the final spot on the front row, his GP10 joining the two Yamahas. This is the first time this season that Hayden will start from pole, the Kentucky Kid running a 1:40.336

MotoGP says riders who were quick in the morning session found the going tough as the temperature soared and grip levels decreased, with Andrea Dovizioso holding top spot briefly before his best time of 1:40.559 eventually placed him fourth on the starting grid, with his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa fifth just under eight-hundredths further back.

A visibly frustrated Casey Stoner, who had been fastest in both free practice sessions, could only qualify in sixth as he lapped 0.559s off the pace of Spies on his Ducati Desmosedici GP10.

MotoGP says The third row will be headed up by Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) with the Italian left bewildered but uninjured when he fell at turn six with little over five minutes to go – his second fall of the day following an earlier one in practice. The reigning World Champion has struggled to match the speed of the front-runners this weekend and will hope to find some improvements with his crew overnight.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) also had a crash in the final stages of the session but managed to secure eighth place, equalling his best qualification so far this season, with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) completing the top ten.

MotoGP says Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team) was 13th in his first qualifying practice since returning from injury, whilst Aleix Espargaró (Pramac Racing) had a fall at turn 13 and subsequently qualified in 14th.

2010 MotoGP Indy Qualifying Results:
1. Ben Spies (Yamaha Tech 3) 1:40.105
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory) +00.220
3. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) +00.231
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) +00.454
5. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +00.532
6. Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) +00.559
7. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory) +00.900
8. Marco Simoncelli (Honda Gresini) +00.987
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3) +01.127
10. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) +01.407
11. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) +01.429
12. Marco Melandri (Honda Gresini) +01.518
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda Interwetten) +01.526
14. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati Pramac) +01.544
15. Mika Kallio (Ducati Pramac) +01.751
16. Hector Barbera (Ducati Aspar) +01.791
17. Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR) +01.818