News 30 Aug 2009

MotoGP: Pedrosa on pole position with new record at Indy


MotoGP qualifying at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Saturday concluded with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa in pole position, following a superb performance from the Repsol Honda rider.

Pedrosa’s best effort of 1’39.730 gave him a new pole position record and his second pole of 2009, with his nearest rival and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo of the Fiat Yamaha team unable to get within half a second of him. Indeed, Pedrosa has been quickest in all three sessions so far at The Brickyard.

Lorenzo’s team-mate Valentino Rossi is also on the front row, though the World Champion left it very late as he slotted into third place with his best time in the final moments, placing nearly nine-tenths of a second down on Pedrosa.

That late lap from the legendary Italian denied Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) a front row start by just one hundredth of a second, but the San Marino rider still qualified in fourth and is looking good at Indy so far, ahead of his home round next week.

There was a rare crash for Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) with less than ten minutes to go, but he still ended up fifth, with his fellow American Nicky Hayden (Ducati) just behind him in sixth, rounding off row two.

There was also a late crash for Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini) but he went round seventh quickest and he is joined on the third row by Italians Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing). Briton James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completed the top ten.

Mika Kallio also hit the deck and finished down in 15th place on the factory Ducati he is temporarily riding.

An exciting 250cc qualifying session saw provisional pole change hands numerous times during the final ten minutes, with Frenchman Mike di Meglio eventually taking his first pole in the category.

The 125cc World Champion, who had a small crash earlier in the session, is one of the few riders in the quarter litre class to have raced at Indianapolis as the 250cc contest was of course cancelled last season due to bad weather.

Behind Di Meglio in second place on the grid is standings leader Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team), whose 1’44.461s time was 0.120s off the pole pace.

There were two crashes in the session for World Champion Marco Simoncelli, following an earlier accident in the free practice, but a sterling job from his Metis Gilera team saw them put both of his bikes back in working order and he concluded the QP in third place. Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team) held provisional pole for several minutes but was fourth at the end.

The second row comprises another Frenchman Jules Cluzel (Matteoni Racing), Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Team), Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) and Alex Debon (Aeropuerto-Castello-Blusens).

Earlier in the afternoon Julián Simón (Bancaja Aspar) took first place in 125cc qualifying as he set a new pole position record for the category at Indy by more than a second, with a 1’49.337 hot lap around the famous American venue.

Lapping just behind the Aspar rider was Germany’s Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten), whose best effort came late in the session and was just 0.05s off Simón’s.

Adding to the Spanish representation on row one are last year’s race-winner Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team) and last year’s pole man Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team) in third and fourth respectively.

Britain’s Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) heads the second row, which also features Italy’s Simone Corsi (Jack & Jones Team) and two more Spaniards, Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar) and Efrén Vázquez (Derbi Racing Team).

The race action at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix commences at 12 midday local time on Sunday, with the 125cc contest. The 250cc riders will get away at 1.15pm and the main event, MotoGP, starts at 3pm. All times quoted are Eastern Time Zone.

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