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Aug 17, 2013

Marquez Breaks Circuit Record, Takes Pole Position For Red Bull Indianapolis GP (Updated)

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Marc Marquez (93).
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis, Indiana
August 17, 2013
Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

Qualifying Session One Results (top two advance to QP2):

1. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:40.328
2. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.418
3. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:40.444
4. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:41.122
5. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.154
6. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.334
7. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.527, crash
8. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:41.618
9. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.665
10. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:41.786
11. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.807
12. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:41.868
13. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.165
14. Blake YOUNG, USA (APR-Kawasaki), 1:44.472
15. Ben SPIES, USA (DUCATI), no time recorded

Qualifying Session Two Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:37.958 (new Circuit Best Lap Record)
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:38.471
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.485
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:38.502
5. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.872
6. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:39.142
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:39.255
8. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:39.313, crash
9. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:39.356
10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:39.555
11. Andrea IANONNE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.042
12. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:40.372

Combined Qualifying Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:37.958 (new Circuit Best Lap Record)
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:38.471
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.485
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:38.502
5. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.872
6. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:39.142
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:39.255
8. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:39.313, crash
9. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:39.356
10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:39.555
11. Andrea IANONNE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.042
12. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:40.372
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:40.444
14. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:41.122
15. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.154
16. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.334
17. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.527, crash
18. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:41.618
19. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.665
20. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:41.786
21. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.807
22. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:41.868
23. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.165
24. Blake YOUNG, USA (APR-Kawasaki), 1:44.472
25. Ben SPIES, USA (DUCATI), no time recorded

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Double front row start for Repsol Honda as Marquez thunders into Pole with record breaking lap

After leading every session of the weekend so far, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has taken his 4th pole position of the season for tomorrow's Red Bull Indianapolis GP. His sensational lap of 1'37.958 is almost a second faster than the previous record set by teammate Dani Pedrosa last year (1'38.813). Marc will be hoping to repeat his 2011 Moto2 performance where he emerged victorious after starting from Pole Position here at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For teammate Dani, it was also a great qualifying session. Still feeling the effects from his recent injury, Dani was able to put in a great lap of 1'38.485 which secured him a front row start in 3rd position. Dani will be aiming for his 3rd win at this track in the MotoGP class.

Marc Marquez 1st 1'37.958
"I'm happy with how things went in the qualifying session. Obviously taking pole is important, but it's tomorrow that really counts. Besides that, the conditions change a lot, tyre durability suffers and it will be tough as the race progresses. We knew the qualifying session was all about the single flying lap, the tyres had a lot of grip then and I took advantage of it. I set a very good time and I think for tomorrow we are ready to fight for victory. As always, we will give one hundred percent"

Dani Pedrosa 3rd 1'38.485
"Today went well, we were able to improve our times, so I'm happy! Starting from the first row is good for us and the feeling with the bike is more positive, but we still have to choose the rear tyre. The important thing for tomorrow is to start well and have a good race"

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:

Lorenzo Back on the Front Row at the Brickyard

Indianapolis (Indiana, USA), 17th August 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo scored a front row position with second place in this afternoon’s qualifying for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion was on typical form for the 15 minute qualifying heat, ensuring he was the first man on track as the session began. Wasting no time, the first flying lap saw him smash the all-time record for the circuit with an impressive 1’38.648 second lap. Lorenzo’s hold on the top spot was short lived as championship rival Marc Marquez then moved into first however he was determined to hold the front row. After a stop for a fresh rear tyre he returned to the track with six minutes to go and delivered another hot lap, dropping his time to 1’38.471 to secure second place on the grid for the race.

Valentino Rossi endured a frustrating qualifying this afternoon, unable to find a set up with his YZR-M1 to challenge with the frontrunners. Rossi initially managed a 1’40.315 second lap to take ninth on his first outing before returning to the pits for fresh rubber. His second outing on track saw him improve considerably, taking a second off his time to lap in 1’39.356 seconds. Despite the improvement the time was not enough to move up the grid so the nine time champion will start from ninth on the third row of the grid tomorrow.

Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / 1'38.471 / 8 laps
“I’m happy with the pace, it’s not bad. We still don't know how well our rivals are prepared for the race but I think I have a constant pace to finish the race with a good speed. The bike has improved by some small details every session so I’m happy with that also. I’m happy to be back on the first row and confident we can fight for the podium. You can see that Marc, Dani and Stefan are really strong, normally we are with them but it's clear that this track is not so suitable for our bike, but it’s much better than it was in 2011. I am confident that we can fight to be not far from first position or maybe to fight for first.”

Valentino Rossi
9th / 1'39.356 / 8 laps

“I’m disappointed because in the practice we weren’t fantastic but better than we were this afternoon. Unfortunately in the fifteen minutes of the qualifying practice the other guys were able to improve more. Especially they are able to improve in braking and corner entry. Jorge did a fantastic job! I tried but when I put on the soft tyre I have more problems with the front and I cannot push a lot. I just managed to improve my time a bit from the used tyre when we had done already fifteen laps. Anyway, we have to look forward and try to improve tomorrow. My pace is nothing fantastic but it's better than 9th position so I have to try to recover some positions and make a good race.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“We are very happy with the first row because we’ve come a long way from the last two races of injuries. Being on the front row for what is normally a difficult race for us is good. The bike is working well and improving step by step, the team has worked hard to understand what to do and where to get the time. Jorge pushed hard in qualifying and his pace is good so hopefully tomorrow we can fight for the podium again.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“An impressive lap from Jorge, I think he has really proved once again that he has the speed. For sure tomorrow is not going to be an easy race but we expect to be there. In the practices we have found good information and I think we will try something else tonight to test in the warm up, in order to be ready for the race. Starting from the first row here is very important and I think tomorrow we will see him fighting as usual. Unfortunately Vale had some difficulties in the qualifying practice. It will be hard for him, he has to really attack from the beginning of the race but he has the capability to do that. Let’s see what we can put together tonight and what we can do tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow and Smith confident for Brickyard battle

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith are confident they have the speed to battle for top positions in tomorrow’s MotoGP race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Crutchlow narrowly missed out on clinching a fantastic fifth front row start in the 2013 campaign and he will start the 27-lap race from fourth position on the grid.

The 27-year-old clocked a best time of 1.38.502 that looked to have secured him a fourth front row in the last five races, only for Spaniard Dani Pedrosa to bump him out of third spot by just 0.017s in the closing moments of QP2.

Crutchlow remains optimistic that he can battle with Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Pedrosa in tomorrow’s race, as he goes in search of a fifth rostrum of the season to strengthen his Championship challenge.

Rookie Smith’s outstanding qualifying form continued in hot conditions this afternoon, the 22-year-old securing a top 10 position on the grid for the fourth consecutive race.

Smith, who starts tomorrow’s race looking to move into the top 10 in the World Championship standings, set a best time of 1.39.255 that at one stage looked set to secure him a place on the second row for only the second time this season.

Today’s result though further underlined Smith’s growing experience and confidence with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machinery and he was able claim the notable scalps of Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi’s in this afternoon's 15-minute session.

Cal Crutchlow 4th 1.38.502 – 8 laps

“I am a little bit disappointed not to be on front row because I’ve been inside the top three for most of the weekend. The positive point though is I am much stronger than in the past here at Indianapolis and I am looking forward to the race. I’ve returned from the summer break and picked up where I left off in the first half of the Championship and a podium is not out of the question tomorrow. Congratulations to Marc though because he has been in awesome form all weekend and he produced another incredible lap in qualifying. Hopefully we can put up a fight against him but we still have to work more on the set-up and at the moment I haven’t decided which tyre I will race.”

Bradley Smith 7th 1.39.255 – 8 laps

“I am happy to be on the third row because we made a really good improvement with the bike today. I did my best lap on my own and then I tried to follow Cal to improve a bit more but I made a small mistake. We’ve done a great job improving my feeling with a full fuel tank and this gives me a lot of confidence for the race, particularly in the first eight laps. I will be looking to make a good start and seeing what I can learn from those guys in front of me. Being precise and consistent is also going to be crucial at this track. It is easy to run off and if you do get off line it is very dirty, so making the least number of mistakes as possible will be crucial.”

More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Abraham is in pain after his crash on Friday, starting from twenty-third position in Indianapolis

Karel Abraham will start from twenty-third position on grid to the Sunday race at Indiana “brickyard”. Suffering from bruised shoulder and foot Abraham was limited for whole Saturday. In the end Cardion AB Motoracing rider was able to improve his Friday’s time, but 1:42,165 was enough only for a position in ninth row. Final solution on participation on the race will be made by team after the morning warm up.

Karel Abraham
„Today it was worse than yesterday, thus the Friday’s optimism was not on spot. It is everything about the pain that limits me substantially completely at all. It is very difficult for me to brake, I miss the power in the corners and the most difficult is to flick the bike from one side to the second one. Tonight I go to see a physiotherapist that will try massage my shoulder. I have to hope and believe that it will get better for tomorrow. Today showed how betrayal is the Indy track. Paddock seems to be as hospital right now, Ben Spies has dislocated his shoulder, Aleix Espargaro has sustained a very tough crash, Stefan Bradl has crashed out three times, fortunately without any injury. If it will continue like that, in Brno will be just a half of us. Concerning me we will decide tomorrow morning. Of course I want to try it, but we have to think that next week the most important weekend of the season waiting for us.“

Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„Karel is not in the condition to ride on hundred percent. He is having a pain, thus he lost the power. It is very difficult to turn and he is not able to accelerate hard. I know, that he does, what he can, in the afternoon he actually improved his time respect yesterday, but it is not enough. We cannot do anything else that wait until tomorrow. We will try to make a warm up and than we will decide if he starts to the race. If we should risk the start in Brno, it has no sense to do this. We are ready for tomorrow on technical point of view, the bike works well but the most important is the physical condition of the rider.“

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Indianapolis, 17 August: with track temperature increasing from 26ºC to 45ºC today at Indianapolis GP qualifying, the LCR racer Stefan Bradl has struggled to control the front end of his RCV. The grip levels improved dramatically from yesterday and the German qualified in the top three in all free sessions with the intention to occupy the front row ahead tomorrow’s 27-lap race. But Bradl’s performance was ruined by a crash at turn 1 during the 15-minute Q2 and he will start from the eighth place.

Stefan Bradl

“Unfortunately we are only 8th in the qualifying because we have struggled a bit with the front tyre due to the increased temperature of the asphalt. I tried to push as hard as I could in my flying lap and I crashed. We were not capable to solve this issue with the front before the Q2 but we have been very fast for the whole weekend so I am not worried about my pace for tomorrow. It won’t be an easy race starting from the 8th spot on the grid but my confidence is still high”.

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Unstoppable Marquez sets new MotoGP™ pole position record at Indianapolis

Round 10: Indianapolis MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Indianapolis, Saturday 17 August 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 31-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 28-28°C; Track 50-56°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez showed relentless pace in qualifying at Indianapolis MotorSpeedway, smashing the existing pole position record to claim the top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Marquez completed three laps under the existing lap record during the QP2 session and ultimately set a time of 1’37.958 - cutting 0.855 seconds from the old mark set by his teammate Dani Pedrosa last year. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo qualified in second place and 0.513 seconds behind Marquez, while Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa completes the front row having set a time just 0.014 seconds behind Lorenzo. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had the American fans cheering by being the top CRT qualifier, his personal best lap time of 1’40.750 sees him line up in P12 for tomorrow’s race. Overall, the pace in today’s qualifying session was vastly quicker than last year with the top four qualifiers setting times under the existing Circuit Best Lap record.

With more rubber laid down on the tarmac and warm conditions present throughout the day, track conditions for today’s sessions were improved from yesterday. Track temperatures peaked at 56°C in today’s QP1 session – one of the hottest track temperatures recorded this year. Out of the two front slick tyres, the harder compound option was preferred today due to its greater braking stability and is likely to be widely used for tomorrow’s race. Rear tyre choice for the works and CRT riders is likely to trend towards the softer rear option, although the greater durability of the harder rear makes it a viable race option at a circuit where the abrasive tarmac makes tyre management even more critical.

Fine and warm conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap race which is scheduled to start at 1400 local time (GMT -4), with the riders taking to track beforehand for the Morning Warm Up session at 0940.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“As expected track conditions were better today and the fine weather allowed riders to evaluate all the slick options to determine what would work best for the race. With the higher grip level from the tarmac and warm temperatures, all riders preferred the harder front slick as it gives better stability in the hard braking zones, and I expect this to option to be used by most riders tomorrow. The pace was very quick today; both over a single lap and over long runs with both rear slick compounds performing well, although it looks like the works riders are more likely to select the softer rear slick option for the race. Today was a very positive day and it is looking like we will see a fantastic contest tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Fourth row for Andrea Iannone

It was a positive second day of this tenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider, who ended qualifying with a time of 1'40.042 and eleventh place on the grid.

Despite constant pain in his injured shoulder, the Italian was forced to take part in all the scheduled sessions including Q1, by just a few thousandths of a second, but he constantly improved his lap time and moved closer to his fellow Ducati riders.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I'm not very far from Nicky and Dovi, I'm happy, and I'm sure I did everything I could today. The only thing I regret is not having been able to do more with the soft tyre, but now I need to concentrate on tomorrow's race, and I have to stay calm. Today, after having had to do all the sessions using the entire body to compensate for lack of strength in my arm, I'm really tired, and it was tough in Q2. Anyway it's still a good weekend so far, I did not think I could do so much. Tomorrow, however, it’s going to be a long race. I’ll go to the Clinica Mobile in the morning to evaluate with the doctors what to do for the eventual pain. I will do everything I can and we’ll see how to deal with it.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Indianapolis GP: Hayden improves to sixth on grid, Dovizioso tenth

The Ducati Team riders made good progress today in the decisive final qualifying session for the Indianapolis GP, with the tenth round of the MotoGP world championship set to take place tomorrow at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Following a challenging Friday that had seen Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso finish in ninth and tenth positions, respectively, things improved today for the Kentucky rider, who enjoyed one of his best qualifying sessions of the year so far, lowering his time by over a second to take the sixth spot on the grid for his home GP. He’ll start the race on the second row.

Dovizioso, despite cutting his time by one second, made a couple of mistakes on his fast lap and will start tomorrow’s race from the fourth row, in tenth place.

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 6th (1:39.142)
“All in all, I’m satisfied. Sixth on the grid isn’t a bad result, and my fast lap was the best I’ve been able to do this weekend. We made some changes for FP4 but they didn’t work so well, so I wasn’t too calm between sessions, but as soon as I went out for Q2, I felt a lot better. We’ve got a couple ideas for tomorrow to smooth it out over the bumps and help it to change directions better. The weather has been good so far, and we’re quite a bit faster than we’ve ever been around here, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 10th (1:39.555)
“I’m not pleased with my qualifying lap because I made a few too many mistakes. It’s a shame, because I’m sure I could’ve done a better time. During my ‘good’ lap, I made mistakes in turns 2 and 3; I closed the front twice and came close to crashing. After that, I wanted to attack the track, but there was no grip and I wasn’t able to do a perfect lap. Nicky did a nice time, and I think I could’ve done that as well. I’m disappointed to have the tenth position, on row four, but apart from the position, I think we have the right pace to battle with Nicky’s group. This is a very strange track without much grip, so I need to believe in myself and try to make up some positions on the start.”

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Colin Edwards is the fastest CRT in qualifying at Indy
NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards takes part in Q2 for the first time this season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway racetrack and will start the race from the twelfth place for tomorrow’s race. The American rider has proven to be not only the fastest FTR – Kawasaki bike but also the fastest CRT on track with the Aprilia bikes right behind him.

Teammate Claudio Corti will start the race from the sixth row after qualifying in sixteenth place at Indy. The Italian rider has proven to be very fast and has a very good pace that makes him confident for the race.

Both riders have shown a constant improvement in their lap times and believe they can aim to finish in the points and play their part in the battle for top CRT for tomorrow’s GP race.

Giovanni Cuzari, Team Owner/CEO Media Action

“I am very satisfied and would like to thank Colin for his hard work, the great effort and for the performance that he has provided us with. It is not the first time that we go to parc ferme, last season we had been there with the Suter - BMW bike and this year we go back again with the FTR – Kawasaki bike. We have proven that we have a very professional team and for that I would like to thank them to.”

Colin Edwards

“I thought there was an age limit to get into park ferme, that I was too old, but they just let me right in today! We hadn’t spent that much time on the soft tire, we went out and got a good setup for the race on the hard tire. So we decided to try the soft tire, went out there and did 1´40.9 right off the bat and then 1´40.3 and it felt good. We are making it step by step. The bike is feeling pretty good. Looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

Claudio Corti

“The feeling with the bike has definitely improved a lot since yesterday and it has allowed me to improve my race pace while using the hard tire, which will be our choice of tire for the race. Unfortunately it feels like even though today I have done my best it is still not enough to be among the top CRTs. Colin has done an extraordinary result today, he’s lap times were vey fast and I was unable to replicate them. Nonetheless it has been a good day, the race pace is good and that makes me hopeful, tomorrow’s race in 27 laps long and nothing is set yet.”

Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director

“For the second time this season we have been able to take part in Q2. At Sachsenring it was Claudio and today at Indy it has been Colin’s turn. From the very beginning Colin has had a good start of the weekend and almost right from the start we were able to focus on the race setting. During qualifying we used the soft tire, which we will not be able to use for the race but that allowed Colin to do an amazing job and a lap time that will allow him to start tomorrow from the twelfth. Claudio was not able to improve his lap times during qualifying but has proven to have a very good pace for the race with the hard tire. We are hopeful for tomorrow and believe we can play an important part in the fight for top CRT.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Ben Spies Injured Again

After a good first day back at work, Ben Spies suffered a crash in today’s FP3 session and dislocated his left clavicle. The Texan will be forced to sit out the remainder of the Indianapolis GP race weekend.

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“It’s obviously really unfortunate. Just when I was back and starting to feel good, now we have another shoulder injury, but this time on the left. Right now I still need to go back to Dallas have some CT scans on my wrist to see if there’s anything broken there, but definitely on my shoulder we have a grade 3 separation. Regarding the crash, I was going out on the first lap when I made a mistake and spun the rear tyre and high-sided. I’m just sorry for the team and frustrated for the fans because I was looking forward to being out there. We were starting to feel good but now we’re back at square 1.”

More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Dominant Marquez breaks record on way to Indianapolis pole

Marc Marquez continued his domination of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend by claiming a spectacular pole position on Saturday, beating the previous pole record by over eight tenths of a second. The Repsol Honda Team rider will share Sunday’s front row with his closest title rivals, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

The fight at the end of Q2 was be to be thrilling, but Marquez’s eventual effort of 1’37.958 sees him claim pole by the huge margin of half a second. Behind, just fractions separated positions two to four which are filled by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa – both still recovering from crashes at previous events – as well as Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow.

Alvaro Bautista delivered a solid lap for a top five grid spot on the GO&FUN Honda Gresini machine, sealing a second row placing as American Nicky Hayden led Ducati Team’s charge from sixth. Behind Tech3’s Bradley Smith who will start seventh, the biggest disappointment arguably came for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl who had been inside the top three in all but one of the practice sessions; the German’s session was ruined by a crash at Turn 1 and he will start the race from eighth place.

Completing the top ten and frustrated to be behind several satellite riders were 2008 race winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), while Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was 11th. Having moved into the shootout for the first time this season, Colin Edwards – the second American on this weekend’s grid – went on to qualify 12th for NGM Mobile Forward Racing. Missing Q2 for only the second time was Power Electronic Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who is the leading CRT representative in the standings, but bruised both hands when crashing in Free Practice 4; the Spaniard will line up 13th on Sunday.

The grid will be rounded out by American wildcard Blake Young, riding for Attack Performance Racing. After missing seven races through injury, compatriot Ben Spies was set to return this weekend, but has again been ruled out of action following a crash in third free practice this morning; having highsided on the exit of Turn 4, the Ignite Pramac Racing rider has suffered a separation to his left shoulder and will miss at least this race and next weekend’s Czech event as a result.


Moto2™ championship leader Scott Redding returned from a low-key start to the weekend to seize pole position for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The Marc VDS Racing Team rider will start alongside title rival Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team).

Espargaro, who had topped the final practice session earlier on Saturday, could be seen during qualifying to run in Redding’s slipstream; the latter slowed in a bid to avoid this from being possible, but his rival would apply the same tactics on his final run. Redding’s eventual pole time came in the form of 1’43.026, which sealed the top spot by just 27 thousandths of a second. Nakagami was a tenth and a half off pole, having begun the weekend on top by posting the quickest time in opening practice.

Row 2 will be made up of Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40), Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing) and Nico Terol (Aspar Team Moto2), while Terol’s teammate and Sachsenring race winner Jordi Torres will start seventh from Maptaq SAG Zelos Team’s Marcel Schrotter and Italtrans’ Julian Simon. Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese rounds out the top ten for Dynavolt Intact GP.

Further down the grid, a pair of less familiar faces will begin the race locked together, as American wildcard rider James Rispoli lines up 29th for GPTech and Thitipong Warokorn starts 30th for Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2; the Thai rookie replaces fellow countryman Ratthapark Wilairot, who has now retired from Grand Prix racing.


Alex Rins will start on pole position for the Moto3™ Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, sharing the front row with Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate Alex Marquez and Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales. Championship leader Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) will line up tenth, and was fortunate to escape major injury in a high-speed crash.

Pole for Rins is the Spaniard’s fourth of the season and second in succession, having also topped qualifying for the pre-summer break German Grand Prix which he went on to win. On Saturday at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Barcelona rider posted a best time of 1’47.392, edging out teammate Marquez by just under three tenths of a second. With Salom hitting trouble, Viñales’ third spot could provide an ideal platform from which to close in on the title lead.

During qualifying came a minor fall for Eric Granado (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and two separate incidents for Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), but it was Salom who suffered the most frightening crash; the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider highsided in the middle of the first corner and was fortunate not to be collected by those who followed. Remarkably, the Mallorcan was able to re-join the session for the final six minutes, but will start three full rows behind pole position.

Row 2 will be occupied by Mahindra Racing’s Efren Vazquez, Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miler and Ajo’s Arthur Sissis, whereas the third row will consist of Jonas Folger (Aspar), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ajo). Joining Salom on Row 4 will be Marc VDS Racing Team rookie Livio Loi and La Fonte Tascaracing’s Alessandro Tonucci, as Salom attempts to stay out of trouble.

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:

Sixth row for Barberá despite a fall in the Q1 and nineteenth place for Aoyama at the Indianapolis GP

Indianapolis, 17 August 2013. The return to work for the Avintia Blusens men was more intense than expected during the days of practice held at the legendary American circuit of Indianapolis. Aoyama and Barberá worked hard during the two days of official practice sessions in order to get a good set-up for the qualifying and also for the race. Both riders and technicians agreed that for the changes of asphalt and the different paces required on the American track, it was important to achieve a good compromise with the bike for being competitive. Unfortunately, Héctor was not able to make the most of the work done because of a fall when he was getting the best partials times with eight minutes left to conclude the Q1. With hardly time to complete a lap, Barberá went on the track with the second bike to finish in a commendable seventh position in the Q1 and to start from the sixth row of Sunday?s grid. Despite this setback, the Avintia Blusens rider is confident of doing a good race and fighting for the top CRT places.

Aoyama also did a good job. He noticed the rest time and the recovery sessions of his hand, and he was able to ride more easily close to the times of the best ones in the category. A problem with the rear brake did not allow him to be as competitive as he could have been and this Sunday he expects to do a good race and be with the best CRT bikes again.

8 Héctor Barberá (17th, 1.41.527): Throughout the weekend we have worked on the set-up and especially on improving the front part of the bike. The steering closed with ease and in the Q1, when I have pushed, the steering has closed and I have not been able to avoid falling down. It is a pity because I was getting the best lap time and we would have been able to fight for being in the Q2. But everything has its bright side. When I have gone on the track with the second bike I have noticed that the fork worked much better and tomorrow we will use that setting in the first bike. If the steering does not close, we can do it very well because the bike works very well. Here the Aprilia bikes are closer and we have to take advantage of it.

7 Hiroshi Aoyama (19th, 1.41.665): Although during the weekend we have been able to work well on the set-up of the bike, in the qualifying session I have not been able to do my best due to a problem with the rear brake. I lean quite a lot on it and I like to use it in certain moments because of my riding style. It makes me mad because neither in yesterday?s sessions nor in today?s free practice we have had problems and on the other hand, in the qualifying it has appeared. On one previous occasion something similar had already happened to us, but we believed that it was solved. Now my hand is much better and if tomorrow the team manages to solve the problem of the rear brake, I can do a good race.

More, from a press release issued by Honda:

2013 FIM MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 World Championships
Round 10 of 18, Indianapolis GP, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Qualifying, Saturday, 17 August 2013

Weather: Dry, scattered clouds
Temperature: Ambient 27 degrees C / Track 45 degrees C


Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez claimed his fourth pole position of the season with a new record lap at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. With team-mate Dani Pedrosa third, the MotoGP season resumes with two Hondas on the front row of the grid.

The 20-year-old MotoGP class rookie ended the first half of the season riding high, after extending his World Championship lead with two wins in succession in the previous rounds in Germany and at Laguna Seca.

Marquez has resumed business in the same sparkling form. The factory Honda rider led all four free practice sessions, and smashed the previous qualifying record to head the time sheets almost from the start of the crucial final 15 minutes of qualifying. He underlined his pace by going even faster on his second run. His lap time was almost a full second below the previous best lap, set last year by race-winner Pedrosa.

Marquez has been on pole position for two out the three races in the USA, and won in Austin, Texas as well as at Laguna. Victory tomorrow would give him an American hat-trick, and further extend his title lead.

Pedrosa’s third place on the grid was achieved in less spectacular style. The rider is still recovering from the injury that ruled him out of the German GP and made his fifth place at Laguna into a heroic effort in damage control.

The 27-year-old Spanish rider admitted he was feeling stiff and not at full strength, and took a steady approach to practice, before reeling off a blazing lap at the end that lifted him from the third row to the first, a mere 0.014 seconds off defending champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in second. Pedrosa was also comfortably inside his own record.

Pedrosa missed the German GP after being diagnosed with a partially fractured left collarbone suffered in a crash in free practice. His first no-score cost him the lead in the World Championship. A week later he was back at Laguna Seca, where further post-race diagnosis revealed that the fracture was complete rather than partial. The three-week break was a chance to heal, but the prescribed rest cure meant he was not able to train as usual.

Pedrosa has won twice at the 4.216-km Indianapolis infield track, which loops back and forth within the iconic banked oval track used for America’s biggest car racing series; while team-mate Marquez won in the Moto2 class for the last two years, going on to claim the title last year.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) also produced strong qualifying form for a second race in a row, placing fifth in the middle of the second row. The Spanish former 125cc World Champion, who also has an important testing role, was on the front row at Laguna Seca.

Bautista is the only prototype rider to use Japanese Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, helping the Honda associates to develop cutting-edge racing technologies.

LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl had been challenging to repeat his first pole position achieved at Laguna Seca until misfortune in the final session spiked his guns. He crashed out unhurt, his second tumble of the day, and was unable to improve on eighth position, in the middle of the grid.

Australian grand prix rookie Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) placed his Honda CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike 20th, in the thick of a tight pack of non-factory CRT machines, in his first visit for the circuit, putting him in a position where he can add to the points he has already scored in his first season.

The final qualifying in the all-Honda powered Moto2 class came to an exciting climax, when championship rivals Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) and Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) battled over pole.

The honours went to English rider Redding by less than three hundredths of a second, promising a close battle tomorrow. Espargaro has been closing the points gap to his rival, but the Spanish rider suffered a heavy crash yesterday, which slowed his progress and left him battered.

Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) snatched third place in the closing minutes to complete the front row of the grid, displacing earlier title contender and race winner Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) to the head of the second rank.

Positions were something of a lottery, with 20 out of 33 riders within one second of pole position. Moto2 machines use a variety of specialist chassis, but all competitors are issued with identical race-tuned Honda CBR600 engines by the organisers, to ensure not only close but also reliable racing.

In the Moto3 class Honda is up against rival factories KTM and Mahindra, and Honda engines are used in both factory and independent chassis. Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda) heads the Honda brigade after surviving a major moment in qualifying to challenge for his first front row. Running in the top three until the closing minutes, he ended up fifth, in the middle of the second row.

The next-best Honda was at the head of a quartet of the 250cc four-stroke machines, 12th to 15th places within five hundredths of a second in typically close times in the very competitive class. Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tascaracing FTR Honda) was 12th, his best position so far, narrowly ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 FTR Honda), Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) and Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda).

Alan Techer (CIP Moto3 TSR Honda) was a close 17th, and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) 19th.

Honda MotoGP Rider quotes

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V): 1st – 1m 37.985
“I’m happy with how things went in the qualifying session. Obviously taking pole is important, but it’s tomorrow that really counts. Besides that, the conditions change a lot, tyre durability suffers and it will be tough as the race progresses. We knew the qualifying session was all about the single flying lap, the tyres had a lot of grip then and I took advantage of it. I set a very good time and I think for tomorrow we are ready to fight for victory. As always, we will give 100 percent.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda): 3rd – 1m 38.471
“Today went well, we were able to improve our times, so I’m happy! Starting from the first row is good for us and the feeling with the bike is more positive, but we still have to choose the rear tyre. The important thing for tomorrow is to start well and have a good race.”

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini): 5th – 1m 38.872
“I am happy with the work we have done today and with my feeling on the bike compared to yesterday. It felt better from the start this morning and gave us time to test the hard tyre again, but there was no advantage to it so we went back to the soft. I managed to put a good lap together this afternoon to qualify fifth, which is a decent position for the race tomorrow. We have improved our pace by a second from last year so that shows what a good job we are doing this season. We are improving from race to race and building our confidence with the bike. Tomorrow I hope we can get a good start and put our pace together, have some fun and hopefully take some important points home.”

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V): 8th – 1m 39.313
“Unfortunately we are only eighth in the qualifying because we have struggled a bit with the front tyre due to the increased temperature of the asphalt. I tried to push as hard as I could in my flying lap and I crashed. We were not capable to solve this issue with the front before the Q2 but we have been very fast for the whole weekend so I am not worried about my pace for tomorrow. It won’t be an easy race starting from the third row of the grid but my confidence is still high.”

Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda): 20th – 1m 41.786
“I’m happy because I’ve improved my feeling with the bike and made up some positions. I really didn’t think we had this in us, but hopefully we can take another step forward tomorrow. I feel confident that we can and I am looking forward to getting out on track. It won’t be an easy race but I’ll do my best.”

Honda Moto2 Rider quotes

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team): 1st – 1m 43.026
“It was a bit difficult. I had good speed and rhythm at the beginning, but I struggled with traffic in the middle. Then I found Pol waiting for me, and it was a bit difficult to make a good lap with him trying to follow me. I even stopped, and he stopped with me. I was thinking: ‘play fair’; but in the end I did a ride through pit lane, and I managed to come out and get pole position. I’m really happy with that, but we have to look to tomorrow and the race. The tyres are not so good for everybody, so we’ll need to see who can save their tyres best. Poll and I will fight hard tomorrow. We both want to win. We’ll see how he rides, and we have some good speed on the straight, so we’ll see what happens.”

Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40): 2nd – 1m 43.053
“I’m quite happy. We did a great job, and missed the pole by a whisker. We worked not only for qualifying, but also thinking about the needs of the race. The tyres go down quickly, so we experimented a few things to help them to be more constant and give better sensations in the last part of the race. We will check it again tomorrow, in the warm-up. No big consequences for the high-side I suffered. I still feel some pain while standing, sitting or walking, but when I’m on the bike, I don’t know how, the pain vanishes. For the race, after this night’s rest, the situation will be even better.”

Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team): 3rd – 1m 43.725
“It will not be easy tomorrow, because Scott and Pol are both very fast, and Rabat is very constant … but we are quite strong. I’m losing just a little bit in the first two sections, but I am very fast in the final fourth section. I’m happy to be back in the first row. It’s really important for any race, so thanks to my team. They worked very hard. Tomorrow I will try to make a good race for them.”

Honda Moto3 Rider quotes

Jack Miller (Caretta Technology-RTG): 5th – 1m 47.028
“I made a few too many little mistakes, and this is what put me on the second row, but tomorrow is looking good. The bike is working really great, and we’re closing the gap slowly. The chassis is really good, and the handling is what is helping us most here.”

Alessandro Tonucci (La Fonte Tascaracing): 12th – 1m 48.879
“In the last couple of GPs, we lost a little bit the right way. So, here in Indy we went back, as far as the frame is concerned, to the basics. It has been a good idea – today’s qualifying has been the best of the season so far. In the evening we are going to check the data to understand what should be done to further improve – the target is to get a better rear grip. Tomorrow's warm-up will be devoted to check that”.

Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini): 13th – 1m 48.900
“After this morning’s crash in free practice, qualifying on the contrary has been pretty good. We tested a new fairing, which is smaller and more agile, and therefore helps me in the corners and changing of direction, but it is less aerodynamic on the straight. We have work to do, but I’m confident tomorrow we can do a good race.”
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