Pedrosa Takes Pole In Dramatic Indy Qualifying

2 Mins read

Dani Pedrosa translated his practice dominance into pole position for the Indianapolis Grand Prix but the session was overshadowed by heavy crashes for three leading riders. Casey Stoner, Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden were all launched off their motorcycles at turns 13 & 14 and while Spies escaped serious injury, Hayden was hurt badly enough to rule him out of tomorrow’s race while Stoner is also a serious doubt.

The reigning world champion was the first to go down as the rear Bridgestone lost grip exiting turn thirteen, catapulting him into the air before landing heavily on his left ankle. Initial reports stated ligament damage for the Australian while a later check-up revealed marginal fractures to his ankle. His status for the race is still in doubt with further news expected tomorrow.

Ben Spies suffered a near identical crash although he was fortunate compared to his fellow countryman. Nicky Hayden’s highside came a little further round as he approached turn fourteen but the highside was so severe that he was knocked unconscious when he landed. The home favourite suffered a concussion as well as fractures to the second and third metacarpals on his right hand, cruelly keeping him from racing tomorrow.

The incidents involving Stoner and Hayden brought out the red flags and Stoner was actually quickest of all at the time of his crash. By the time Hayden had fallen, Dani Pedrosa had taken a firm grip on pole position with a 1:39.152 but the sole remaining Repsol Honda went quicker again two minutes from time, setting the fastest ever two-wheeled lap time of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Stoner writhes in pain in the gravel trap (Photo Credit:


As it turned out, Pedrosa was right to go out again despite the regular incidents occurring around him. Jorge Lorenzo had also ventured out for another run and his 1:38.913 would’ve taken pole but for Dani’s late flyer. With Stoner and Spies failing to improve after crashing, the door was left open for Andrea Dovizioso to snatch third from the other factory Yamaha while Stefan Bradl snuck in front of Stoner for fifth.

Cal Crutchlow will have work to do from seventh while Alvaro Bautista and Randy de Puniet will join him on row three due to Nicky Hayden’s injuries which will prevent him from taking his eighth place on the grid. Compounding a miserable day for Ducati, Valentino Rossi was only eleventh with de Puniet’s CRT machine outqualifying him while Aleix Espargaro came with 0.049s of doing likewise on the other Aspar.

5101 posts

About author
MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
Related posts
Formula 1MotoGP

Ferrari Considered Giving Valentino Rossi a Full-time Drive with Sauber for 2007

2 Mins read
Ex-Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has opened up about the negotiations that went down between Ferrari and Valentino Rossi in the mid-2000s.

NBC to shut down NBCSN by end of 2021, motorsports like NASCAR and IndyCar among affected

5 Mins read
NBC plans to end NBCSN before the end of 2021. Motorsports like NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and MotoGP, which have races on the network, will have to look for alternatives in the NBC family like USA Network.

Oliveira and Tech3 victorious in Styria

3 Mins read
Miguel Oliveira claimed his maiden win in the premier class and for Red Bull KTM Tech3 in a stop-start second AustrianGP.