News 28 Aug 2011

New record secures Stoner pole position at Indianapolis MotoGP

Australia's Stoner on track for first career podium after record-breaking run at Indy.

Australia's Casey Stoner scored pole position at Indianapolis for Repsol Honda.

Australia's Casey Stoner scored pole position at Indianapolis for Repsol Honda.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) has yet to finish on the podium in two career starts at the Indianapolis circuit but his new pole position record of 1:38.850 indicates that may soon be changing.

The Australian will start from pole position for the seventh time in the 2011 season in Sunday’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

“I’m very happy with pole here in Indy, the team have been doing a great job under difficult conditions this weekend, but we will keep working right up until the last moment to try and get the set up right,” Stoner said.

“Obviously without the bumps the track is a lot better, but the lack of consistency in the grip levels are causing issues, everyone is losing the front and it doesn’t give you a lot of confidence, when you hit these patches the bike just seems to drop away from you.

“We haven’t changed too much since FP1, just a few small steps and trying to get the front tyre to work more with such little grip, we are destroying it.

“For race distance we’re looking pretty good, we did more than race distance on soft front and soft rear and had good stability, we’ll wait and see what the conditions are like for tomorrow and decide from there.”

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from pole least year, qualified second behind Stoner with a 1:39.373, while Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) bettered his morning pace with a new bike set up by nearly one second with a best lap of 1:39.629, giving him the final spot on the front row.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa held off Andrea Dovizioso to take the first spot on row two with a time of 1:39.947, the Spaniard’s time was 0.077s faster than that of his Italian team mate though a tenth slower than his earlier practice time.

American Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completes the second row after posting a time of 1:40.098.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) leads the third row, his time of 1:40.204 placed him just ahead of local favourite Nicky Hayden of the Ducati Team.

The final spot on row three went to Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who trailed Hayden’s time by just 0.040s. Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) was the final rider in the top 10.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) went down at the start of the session, rejoining the field aboard his second bike although the set up was clearly not ideal, as the nine-time world champion finished the qualifying in 14th.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) both had run offs into the gravel, the two will start from 11th and 12th respectively on the grid.

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