Things got underway quickly for Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner at the Red Bull Indy GP, as the Australian posted the quickest times in MotoGP Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2. But it was the American Ben Spies who would be quickest during qualifying, the Monster Tech 3 rider taking the pole.
Joining the Texan on the front row are Fiat Yamaha rider and current series leader Jorge Lorenzo, and Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden.
Here’s the official Sunday guide from MotoGP, discussing stats and facts about the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
• Ben Spies starts from pole for the first time in his MotoGP career. He is the first rookie to qualify on pole since Lorenzo in 2008. Spies is also the first non-factory rider and also the first American rider to start from pole in MotoGP since Colin Edwards at the Chinese Grand Prix in 2008.
• Second on the grid is Jorge Lorenzo, which maintains his record of qualifying on the front row at every MotoGP race this year. If Lorenzo finishes either first or second he will become only the second rider ever to finish in the top two at the opening eleven races of the year in the premier-class; the only rider to have done this previously is Mick Doohan.
• Nicky Hayden’s third place on the grid is the first time he has qualified on the front row since joining Ducati. During the 800cc era of MotoGP the only other Ducati rider to have qualified on the front row is Casey Stoner.
• This is the first time that two American riders have qualified together on the front row for a MotoGP race since the Chinese GP in 2007, when John Hopkins was second on the grid and Colin Edwards was third.
• Leading the second row is Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fourth at Indianapolis last year after qualifying down in eighth place on the grid.
• Fifth place on the grid is Dani Pedrosa’s worst qualifying result since he was seventh fastest qualifier at Assen.
• Casey Stoner’s sixth place on the grid equals his worst qualifying result of the year, at Silverstone.
• Valentino Rossi has qualified in 7th place on the grid, which is his worst qualifying result since the final race of 2008 in Valencia.
• Marco Simoncelli, who won the 250cc race last year at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, has qualified in eighth place on the grid. This equals his best qualifying position on a MotoGP machine that he has achieved three times previously.
• Twelfth on the grid is Marco Melandri, who is scheduled to become the youngest rider ever to make 200 starts in Grand Prix racing.
• The top 23 riders on the grid for the Moto2 race have lapped within one second of the pole position time of Julian Simon.
• Julian Simon starts from pole for the first time in the Moto2 class. Simon qualified on pole last year at Indianapolis in the 125cc class, but finished the race in fifth place.
• In second place on the grid is Hector Faubel, his first front row start in the Moto2 class; a considerable improvement on his previous best qualifying this year which was 12th at Mugello.
• Scott Redding is in third place on the grid to become the youngest ever rider to qualify on the front row in the intermediate-class of Grand Prix racing.
• Simone Corsi is the final rider on the front row – his best qualifying so far in the Moto2 class.
• Fifth place on the grid for Anthony West is his best qualifying result so far in 2010.
• Following wins in Germany and the Czech Republic, Toni Elias will be aiming to win three successive Grand Prix races for the first time in his career.
• Spanish riders have won the last nineteen 125cc races. The last non-Spanish winner in the 125cc class was Andrea Iannone at the Catalan Grand Prix last year.
• Marc Marquez starts from pole for the seventh time in 2010. He has won on the last four occasions he has started on pole, at Silverstone, Assen, Catalunya and the Sachsenring.
• Second on the grid, Nico Terol took his first ever Grand Prix victory at the Indianapolis Grand Prix two years ago. Following his victory at Brno, Terol will be aiming for back-to-back Grand Prix wins for the first time in his career.
• Third-fastest qualifier Bradley Smith is starting from the front row for the seventh successive race. Smith has finished in the top eight at the last sixteen successive races.
• Taking the final slot on the front row is Sandro Cortese, who was second on the grid last year at Indianapolis but crashed on the first lap.
• Heading up the second row is last year’s winner at Indianapolis Pol Espargaro, who has failed to qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time this year.
• Seventh on the grid is Luis Salom, which is an improvement on his previous best qualifying result of tenth at Brno two weeks ago.