Yamaha riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo are confident that they will be able to challenge Casey Stoner in tomorrow's Indianapolis Grand Prix after joining him on the front row. The championship leader took pole by over half a second but Spies believes his performance on worn tyres will help him stay in touch with the polesitter in the 28 lap race.
“It was good today, we didn't have a fast lap in the end but we got on the front row. We did over 30 laps on a set of tyres and went quite quick at the end, still able to do 39s which is good. The last couple of laps we tried our hardest to catch Casey but with five minutes to go I think I ripped my tank spacer off that holds me back on the bike which didn't help. I wasn't disappointed as I knew we had a gap to fourth so we'd be on the front row. It wasn't the perfect session and Casey was just too fast. I think the race will be different; the tyres will be pretty greasy after ten laps but my bike's working really well on used tyres so we'll see what happens.”
Lorenzo described the weekend as a “nightmare” up until qualifying but was delighted with the progress made in qualifying which enabled him to take third, right behind his teammate.
“Qualifying was much better than the other three practices so far this weekend. I improved a lot and had a lot more confidence with the front, we changed one bike completely which worked. We are much more confident for tomorrow now. I would like to be closer to Casey, but seven tenths is better than one second and a half. It's going to be a very tough race for everybody. The front tyre, especially on the left side is graining from the fourth lap so it's going to be a complicated ride. Let's see what happens.”
Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg was pleased with the result on Saturday and, like his riders, feels the gap to Stoner will be a lot closer tomorrow.
“Well I can say one thing, we finally found the right direction to go in which is where we struggled until half way through qualifying. With the bike adjustment we improved a lot, we fitted a qualifying tyre and Jorge pushed for two laps. The bike was stable and we were quite pleased with the result. Ben has been spot on the whole weekend and I think he will be a big contender for the victory for tomorrow. We need to find consistency now and see if we can improve a little bit more for the race.”