MotoGP rider, DANI PEDROSA/Repsol Honda Team, has been the man to beat so far this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. He has the pole position for Sunday’s race with a 1:39.739, faster than last’s year pole position of 1:40.776, set by VALENTINO ROSSI/Fiat Yamaha Team. Pedrosa, the only rider to get below a 1:40, set his fastest time on Lap 28 of 30 laps.
Pedrosa said “For sure the pole position here is important to start. I did good in the wet yesterday and in the dry today. But we need to improve more for the race.”
Second was JORGE LORENZO/Fiat Yamaha Team, who ran the most laps – 31. Current points leader Rossi was third fastest. “The Doctor” holds all MotoGP records set last/first year – best lap, fastest race lap, pole position and top speed.
Fourth through sixth were ALEX DE ANGELIS/San Carlos Honda Gresini; and Americans COLIN EDWARDS/Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and NICKY HAYDEN/Ducati Team.
Saturday’s qualifying session saw the fastest ever MotoGP trap speed of 197.8 mph/318.3 km/h, set by both Pedrosa and MARCO MELANDRI/Hayate Racing Team Kawasaki. The speed trap is just past Start-Finish, part way towards Turn One. The long front straight is 0.542 miles/872 meters long.
MIKA KALLIO of Finland is substituting for the ailing CASEY STONER on the Ducati Team. He was fifteenth fastest and turned the fewest laps – 24. He was, however, the fastest in the speed trap in morning practice at 196.9 mph/317 km/h.
Last year’s top trap speed of 194.4 mph was set by Melandri on a Ducati during qualifying.
The sun was out, the clouds were white and fluffy and the breeze was stiff for qualifying. It was 80F/27C, while the track was 98.6F/37C. Humidity was 40 percent, but no signs of precipitation. Some of the grandstands and viewing mounds around the course were crammed chocka-blocka, while the front straight grandstands had fewer fans.
To correct my previous information on BEN SPIES, who is currently a Rookie in the World Superbike Series: He won the AMA Superbike championship title three years straight, 2006-2008. Spies has made a spectacular debut in SBK, with nine poles, 11 wins, 13 podiums including a second and a third, and six fastest laps. He is second in the standings, just seven points out of first place behind NORIYUKI HAGA of Japan.
The Grand Prix Commission announced some changes Saturday to MotoGP tyre restrictions, and defined season and breaks for practice restrictions.
The qualifying order for Sunday’s MotoGP was Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi, De Angelis, Edwards, Hayden, TONI ELIAS, ANDREA DOVIZIOSO, MARCO MELANDRI, JAMES TOSELAND, LORIS CAPIROSSI, RANDY DE PUNIET, NICCOLO CANEPA, CHRIS VERMEULEN, Kallio, ALEIX ESPARGARO, and GABOR TALMACSI.
Sunday’s race is 3 PM EDT and will be telecast live on FOX.