INDIANAPOLIS — In a dramatic Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix qualifying session that was marred with heavy crashes, it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who grabbed pole position in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
Pedrosa put in a new fastest ever lap in the high 1.38s, relegating Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo into second on the grid, after he had struggled with his bike in the preceding sessions. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso completes the front row, having improved steadily all weekend on his satellite machine. Heading up the second row in fourth is Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, who did incredibly well to walk away from a big crash whilst pushing hard on a hot lap. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will be very pleased with his day’s work, after the German rookie managed to put his bike fifth on the grid.
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, who set the sixth fastest time, suffered a monstrous highside early in the session, causing the red flag to appear, which is suspected to have resulted in torn ligament in his right ankle. He is undergoing further checks at the Indianapolis Methodist Hospital to confirm his injury and determine his race fitness for tomorrow.
In seventh place on the grid, Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was unable to match his teammate’s feat, but will no doubt be pleased with his session, after having suffered two crashes in previous outings.
Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden was viciously thrown off his bike in the same bend as Stoner and Spies (Turn 13), in the latter part of the session, briefly rendering him unconscious. The red flag was once again shown while Hayden received medical attention. He was transported to Methodist Hospital where he was diagnosed with two broken bones in his hand. He will miss Sunday’s race.
Row three is completed by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista in ninth, with Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet putting in a terrific performance to round out the top ten on his CRT machine.
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi could only manage 11th place, after suffering a scare in turn 13 with his bike, causing him to abort his fast lap. Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp and GPTech’s Aaron Yates, both CRT wildcards this weekend, managed to qualify for the race, in 22nd and 23rd place respectively.
Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who has been replaced by Toni Elías after fracturing three vertebrae in his back, is currently on his way back to Barcelona for further medical assessments.