With the Brickyard’s track finally dry, the Yamaha rider recorded a top time of 1:40.776 to win the first ever Indy MotoGP pole. Rossi narrowly beat Casey Stoner’s time of 1:40.860 to end the Ducati Marlboro rider’s attempt at an eighth consecutive pole position.
“I’m very happy to get the chance to ride on this circuit in the dry, it’s a great track and I had a lot of fun (Saturday),” says Rossi. “It’s technical and difficult, which I like, and it seems to suit our bike and tires well. There are places to pass, especially turn one and turn ten, and the grip of the new asphalt is much better in the dry.”
Rossi had much better results running on the dry track than he did on the wet surface during the free practice on Friday, Sept. 12. Unfortunately, the weather reports suggest that the rains will return on race day.
“If it’s ‘normal’ rain then we will be okay, if it’s like (Friday) then we have to take a decision all together about racing,” says Rossi. “Whatever the weather tomorrow, this pole position will be very important.”
Stoner will join Rossi on the front row after recording the second best time despite some technical problems that interrupted his qualifying.
“The breakdown this morning cost us some valuable time during the best part of the session in terms of track condition, so we paid the price for that this afternoon,” says Stoner. “I was struggling to find grip on the front end and we spent so much time working it out that we didn’t have much time to put in a qualifying lap at the end. To be honest I thought we’d be lucky to get on the front two rows. As it happened we got a surprisingly decent lap together and to end up second fastest is much better than we expected so finally it was not so bad. It means my pole run has come to end but that had to happen eventually and the important thing is we have a good position for (Sunday). Now we have to wait and see what the weather does but we have work still to do on the bike in warm-up whatever the conditions.”
Also starting on the front row is Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Meanwhile, two American riders will start on the second row, as Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden and Rizla Suzuki wildcard entrant Ben Spies qualified fourth and fifth respectively.
“It was a good qualifying for us. The bike’s working great. We’re still trying to get some more out of it, and me, too,” says Spies. “I just appreciate everybody that’s rooting me on. I see all the fans, and every time I come around they are giving me the thumbs up and yelling. I appreciate it, and I’m giving it all to represent the whole U.S.”
|Indianapolis Grand Prix qualifying results|
|1||Valentino Rossi||Fiat Yamaha||1:40.776|
|2||Casey Stoner||Ducati Marlboro||1:40.860|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||Fiat Yamaha||1:41.177|
|4||Nicky Hayden||Repsol Honda||1:41.271|
|5||Ben Spies||Rizla Suzuki||1:41.464|
|6||Randy De Puniet||LCR Honda||1:41.492|
|7||Andrea Dovizioso||JiR Scot Honda||1:41.744|
|8||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda||1:41.754|
|9||Toni Elias||Alice Ducati||1:41.886|
|10||James Toseland||Tech 3 Yamaha||1:41.897|
|11||Colin Edwards||Tech 3 Yamaha||1:41.934|
|12||Alex de Angellis||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1:41.969|
|13||Loris Capirossi||Rizla Suzuki||1:42.305|
|14||Sylvain Guintoli||Alice Ducati||1:42.405|
|15||Chris Vermeulen||Rizla Suzuki||1:42.551|
|16||John Hopkins||Kawasaki Racing||1:42.673|
|17||Shinya Nakano||San Carlo Honda Gresini||1:42.732|
|18||Marco Melandri||Ducati Marlboro||1:43.807|
|19||Anthony West||Kawasaki Racing||1:43.931|