The sun finally shone on MotoGP at Indianapolis today and yesterday’s soaking track was long forgotten, giving the riders the chance to get to grips with their bikes on a dry surface. It was another double front-row for Fiat Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, the Spaniard claiming his 12th straight front row of the season with second on the grid and Rossi his seventh consecutive with third.
Lorenzo, who was second fastest behind Dani Pedrosa this morning, went into the lead after just ten minutes of this afternoon’s qualifying session and looked very strong from then on, improving his time several times before Pedrosa knocked him off the top spot with 20 minutes to go. The 22-year-old Spaniard pushed hard in the final stages but was not quite able to edge his compatriot off pole position, finishing the session 0.506 seconds adrift.
Rossi meanwhile was consistently in the top three until he was edged out by Alex de Angelis with a little over ten minutes remaining. The championship leader was able to make a last-minute improvement to move back onto the front row with his final lap but feels he is still lacking rhythm and pace. He and his team will be looking for some overnight improvements in order to put him in the best shape for tomorrow’s race, which starts at 1400 Eastern Time.
Position: 2nd Time: 1’40.236 Laps: 31
“I’m happy about this qualifying session because we made a big step with our setting from this morning and even from the start of the session. Unfortunately we couldn’t improve any more in the final laps and it’s now six or seven races since I’ve been on pole which is strange for me, because doing one fast lap is usually one of my strong points! The important thing however is that we’re on the front row, we have a good race pace and we are ready to challenge for the win tomorrow.”
Position: 3rd Time: 1’40.609 Laps: 27
“We’re on the front row and this is important but honestly we don’t have enough pace at the moment and I can’t ride how I want to. We don’t have quite enough grip to enable us to push at the maximum. We did a lot of work this afternoon but we’re still not at our best and so now we all need to work to find a way to make another step for tomorrow. We have the warm-up still to use and we will try to be competitive for the race.”
“We are on target and happy to be on the front row, even if we were hoping for pole position. The team made some important modifications to the set-up and this afternoon we had a much faster pace than this morning; we have a good race pace now. We still have some work to do because Pedrosa looks very strong and we need to close the gap to him, but we’re confident that we can improve the package a bit more and set Jorge up for a great race tomorrow.”
“We need to continue to work because we’re not yet fast enough! Of course being on the front row is important but now we have to focus on finding the right improvements for tomorrow. We have some work to do before the race and then we will see where we are in warm-up tomorrow.”
The Texas Tornado, Colin Edwards, is targeting a top five result at his second home race of the season in tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix at the legendary Racing Capital of the World.
Edwards qualified fifth fastest today with a slick performance that could have been even better except for a harmless crash with eight minutes remaining.
Edwards had just posted his fastest time of 1.40.961 and was on the pace for a possible front row start when he crashed over a bump at turn six. Edwards had been comfortably in the top five throughout the one hour session.
Meanwhile Briton James Toseland is also in stron g position for a top ten result in tomorrow’s 28 lap race following a confidence boosting set-up change to his Monster Yamaha Tech3 YZR-M1.
Toseland sliced a massive 1.5s off his morning free practice time to qualify tenth. He was bumped from a certain 8th position when he was slowed by traffic on his final lap.
Qualifying was run in warm and sunny conditions, a dramatic contrast to yesterday’s gloomy and wet opening practice session for the 12th race of the season.
Colin Edwards 5 th.1.40.961 — 21 laps
“I’m excited, I’m starting on the second row and I ‘I’ve got a good race pace and if I keep today’s pace it should be an easy top five, maybe even a fight for the podium. We’ve got a good direction with Bridgestone on tyres and have a choice of either the hard or soft option, depending on the weather. I felt really c omfortable and confident the whole session. I would like to say that I didn’t do anything wrong when I crashed but I guess I did, I hit the one bump that is in turn six. With the suspension compressed, the bike leaned over and big bump the two didn’t mix. It’s kind of deceiving, you don’t know where you are, the corner has a decreasing radius. I can’t decide whether to go around the bump or inside it. I had just just done my fastest lap and I felt I had more in it and I was already 0.2s faster on the first split so I thought a 1.40.4 was possible but I didn’t do it.”
James Toseland 10th. 1.41.620 — 26 laps
“I’m confident for race, I was good in the wet yesterday and now we have a strong set-up for the dry and the changes have given me a better feeling. I’ve gone nearly two seconds quicker than I did this morning and I’m really pleased with that, so thanks to the team for all their wor k. It’s just shame that I caught Marco Melandri on the last lap and he made a mistake at the last corner and unfortunately just slowed me up a bit, It wasn’t Marco’s fault I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We were both pushing. I was 0.3s up on Marco at that point and still did my equal best lap of the session so I reckon I could have be 0.4s.faster overall. We’ve made a really positive change to the front-end geometry, just raked it out a bit .I’ve sacrificed some weight on the front to get more rear traction and that’s where time is coming from.”