Ben Spies claimed his maiden MotoGP pole at Indianapolis.
Spies, who was formally announced as Rossi’s replacement in the factory Yamaha team for 2011, managed to take pole 15 minutes from the end of the session. He was briefly challenged by Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden, but Spies was able to respond strongly and re-took pole position by a 0.220s margin.
With Spies being elevated to the factory team, and rumours going around the paddock about Yamaha technicians rushing in and out of his garage all day, it poses the question that he may have benefitted from some new parts. Perhaps his ‘satellite’ Yamaha is less ‘satellite’ and slightly more ‘factory’ these days?
Lorenzo took second place, and Hayden claimed third.
Valentino Rossi struggled with pace throughout the session and then crashed at Turn 6 with ten minutes to go. Rossi was unable to get back out in time and finished in 7th position. Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner also had a frustrating session and had to settle for 5th and 6th position respectively.
Indianapolis MotoGP Qualifying Times:
1. Ben Spies USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 40.105s
2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Fiat Yamaha Team 1m 40.325s
3. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 40.336s
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda Team 1m 40.559s
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 1m 40.637s
6. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 1m 40.664s
7. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 1m 41.005s
8. Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 41.092s
9. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 41.232s
10. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m 41.512s
11. Alvaro Bautista ESP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1m 41.534s
12. Marco Melandri ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m 41.623s
13. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Interwetten Honda MotoGP 1m 41.631s
14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Pramac Racing 1m 41.649s
15. Mika Kallio FIN Pramac Racing 1m 41.856s
16. Hector Barbera ESP Paginas Amarillas Aspar 1m 41.896s
17. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 1m 41.923s
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