Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies has taken his debut pole position for his home race, tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix, ahead of factory Yamaha rider and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and fellow American, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.
For a large part of the session Repsol Honda‘s Dani Pedrosa occupied the top spot, after nudging team mate Andrea Dovizioso down the timesheet, then came a flurry of fast laps. Spies raced to provisional pole before it was snatched away by Hayden and then by Lorenzo before finally being claimed by Spies. Lorenzo held on to post a quicker time to secure pole from Hayden.
Dovizioso eventually managed to beat Pedrosa to start at the head of the second row, with his team mate by his side. Ducati’s Casey Stoner only managed to qualify in 6th, which is disappointing considering he was the man to beat in both of the practice sessions.
At the head of the third row will be FIAT Yamaha‘s Valentino Rossi, who had a nightmare of the session, after sliding into the gravel with 7 minutes left, leaving him without a chance to post a final, quick time. It was the Italians’ second fall of the day, after a fall in FP2. Another faller, Marco Simoncelli starts next to Rossi equalling his best qualifying this season, after taking a trip into the gravel on San Carlo Honda Gresini machine, with the change in track surface catching out riders in all classes. Row three is completed by another American rider, in Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards.
The top ten is rounded out by Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi. Other notable qualifiers were Hiroshi Aoyama of the Interwetten Honda MotoGP team, who is returning to the grid after a 12 week absence after fracturing a vertebra in a previous accident, managed a respectable 13th, and Aleix EspargarÃ³ of Pramac Racing was another faller, but managed to get up and eventually qualified in 14th.