Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa scored his second pole position and sixth front-row start of the season in definitive style today. Fastest in the morning’s free practice by just over a second, the Spaniard used the harder option front and softer option rear Bridgestone slicks to set a pole time 0.506seconds faster than the field. In doing so he also set a new circuit fastest lap, one second faster than the pole position time of last year set by race winner Valentino Rossi on qualifying tyres. After Brno, this is the second pole position record to be beaten on Bridgestone’s race tyres since the demise of qualifying-spec rubber at the end of last season.
The Fiat Yamaha duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s race in second and third respectively, closely followed by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis in his best qualifying performance of the season.
The top four all used the harder option front slicks and the softer option rear to record their fastest laps, and all went faster than the pole position record set last year.
As yesterday’s practice session was wet, and most of the weekend last year was also wet in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the teams and riders do not have a great deal of experience of dry running at Indianapolis so setup time was at a premium today.
Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“For the second time this season we have seen a pole position record broken on our race tyres so I am pleased with their performance today on the first day of dry running here at Indianapolis. We do not have much experience of dry weather running in MotoGP at this circuit because of the inclement weather here this and last year, so the teams had not much time to get their setups perfected on our slick tyres.
“We do have quite a good understanding of this track from our work in the Formula One World Championship though, so we try to support all teams with the benefit of this knowledge. Tyre durability on the dry surface was reasonable today in the high temperature, and Jorge completed a long run of 20 laps on the harder front and softer rear Bridgestone slicks with a string of consistent times faster than the previous pole position record.”