These just in:
Eighth pole for Marc Marquez
Undisputed dominance by reigning World Champion in Indianapolis, as he heads the grid for tomorrow's race. Dani Pedrosa will start from eighth.
In qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix -the tenth round of the MotoGP season- Marc Marquez continued at the excellent level shown in free practice yesterday and today. The Repsol Honda rider scored his eighth pole position of the year, with Dani Pedrosa on the third row as a result of his qualifying eighth. Pedrosa was unable to make the most of his second soft tyre to take a position higher up on the grid.
The summer break has not changed things in MotoGP and, after setting the fastest time yesterday, Marc Marquez repeated the feat today with a 1:31.619 best lap. The Spaniard was fifth in the third practice session but, showing excellent pace on worn tyres, he led the fourth practice session before storming ahead in qualifying to ensure pole position.
Ninth and sixth in the final two free practice sessions, Dani Pedrosa started the qualifying session strongly. On his first attempt at a hot lap he took the third fastest time, but after a trip to the garage to change tyres he was unable to further lower his times. With a best lap of 1:32.331, Pedrosa will occupy eighth on the grid for a race which will get underway at 2pm local time.
Marc Marquez 1st 1:31.619 42 laps 175 km
"I am happy to have taken this pole position, because it is important to start well after the summer break. The fundamental thing is that we have a good pace for tomorrow. The tyre choice tomorrow will also be important, especially with the rear. We will see what the temperature is like and, from there, decide which compound to use. I am happy with how I am feeling, and we will try to give 100%, as always".
Dani Pedrosa 8th 1:32.331 42 laps 175 km
"In qualifying I wasn't able to improve my best time with my second tyre, because I couldn't do it on the three attempts I had at a hot lap. When you don't improve on this second run, you are always going to have people move ahead of you on the grid. The times are very close and unfortunately for us we had a bad qualifying session. In any case, I will work with the team tonight and tomorrow morning to try to find a faster pace for the race, and look for a little more rear grip".
Lorenzo Flies to First Row at Indianapolis
Despite a changeable forecast for this afternoon's qualifying session it held dry for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo to secure third place on the grid for tomorrow's Indianapolis Grand Prix. Teammate Valentino Rossi made a big improvement from practice, dropping into the low 1'32's to take fifth.
Lorenzo started the 15-minute qualifying session from the back, leaving the pit lane last to be ensured of a clear path for his first flying laps. He quickly found his pace and led the qualifying session when he set his first hot lap of 1'32.177 seconds with ten minutes to go. Lorenzo came into the pits with seven minutes remaining for fresh rubber before returning to the track for a last five-minute dash. With less than a minute on the clock the Spaniard achieved a personal best time of 1'31.869 seconds, leaving him third, just a quarter of a second from pole man Marc Marquez. He had one lap left to improve his time, but was forced to slow his pace due to a crash by Bradley Smith and will start tomorrow's race from the first row of the grid.
Teammate Rossi left the pits early for his first outing. With eight minutes to go the nine-time world champion put in a time of 1'32.692 seconds, moving him up to eighth position, before moving back one place as the pace quickened. The nine-time world champion then came in for a fresh set of tyres with seven minutes left and started his second outing on track five minutes before the end of the session. With 10 seconds to go he set a 1'32.160 on his eighth and final lap, moving him up to fourth in the standings until he was surpassed by Alex Espargar˛. His time puts him on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's race, just 0.541 seconds from the front.
3rd / 1'31.869 / 8 laps
"We tried a new setting during Free Practice 4 with the hard tyre but it wasn't good. We have to understand what the problem was; if the tyre wasn't right or if the setting wasn't good. With the soft tyre the bike was working quite well and when we tried the hard tyre yesterday it was working really good. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will see if the feeling is ok with the hard tyre. During the qualifying I tried to put in a very good lap time. After the first try I was very satisfied with the lap. The second time I wanted to improve a little bit more but I came across so many riders waiting for a tow that I couldn't ride like I did before. I went just two tenths of a second faster, but it was enough to give me this first row, which is a good position."
5th / 1'32.160 / 8 laps
"I'm quite happy. It was possible to do a little better, especially because I was good this afternoon. During Free Practice 4 I was consistently fast, but starting from the top five is ok for the race. It would have been better to start from the first row, but it's also ok from the top five. I'm quite happy because I'm riding the bike well. I have a good pace and we improved the setting a lot, but the rear tyre choice will be crucial. The soft and hard options are very similar, so it will be a very important decision for tomorrow's race. Here, on the new tarmac, the track changes a lot with every practice session. It now looks like the softer tyre is becoming better while yesterday it was impossible to use, but the two options are very similar."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"First and second row are good positions to be in for tomorrow's race. Jorge was fast from the start and definitely on good form. Vale found some clear space for a good lap on his second outing so made a big jump up to the second row which was great. We still have some room to improve and we still need to decide on tyres so we'll continue our work tonight and see what we can do for warm up tomorrow morning. We've worked hard this weekend to find a good pace for both Vale and Jorge so with a good start they can be competitive and fight at the front."
Espargaro on second row for Indy battle tomorrow
Pol Espargaro will start the tenth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship from the second row of the grid after guiding his Monster Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP bike to sixth position during today's qualifying. The young Spanish rider kicked off proceedings in a highly notable manner this morning by clinching fifth with a lap time of 1'32.797, only 0.275 from the top of the timesheet which saw him glide straight through to qualifying practice 2. Before this he expertly completed the FP4 session in second position. The 23 year old rider furthered his pace progression as he powered onwards in Q2 to set a best time of 1'32.243 on his sixth lap which resulted in being only 0.374 from the final front row and the best Yamaha position of Jorge Lorenzo. His qualifying result leaves Espargaro confident and prepared to complete a further points scoring rout tomorrow to build upon his hard fought seventh position in the World Championship standings in his debut season in the premier class.
On the other side of the garage, Britain's Bradley Smith completed an effective qualifying campaign, despite falling on the final lap in qualifying practice 2 to place his Yamaha YZR-M1 on third row for tomorrow's 27 lap sprint around the world famous Indianapolis circuit. Having began yesterday's opening day of practice positively by clinching second in the first session, Smith continued the forward momentum today in FP3 to post a best time of 1'33.202, seizing eighth position and allowing him to pass straight through to the final fifteen minute qualifying shootout. This afternoon the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider posted a best time of 1'32.343 deep into the session and only two tenths from fourth place, yet unfortunately fell on his final lap. Smith again wounded his previously injured finger, but will still be able to compete tomorrow. His time was strong enough to retain ninth and he will now aim to undertake a trademark forward start before undertaking a spirited performance to achieve a competitive result tomorrow.
6th / 1'32.243 / 8 laps
"Overall, I am quite satisfied with the second row as qualifying result today and I feel really confident for the race tomorrow. There are two open class bikes in front and I am convinced that I have a better race pace so with a strong start off the grid, we should be able to overhaul them and get into the top five which is what I am aiming for. As for tyres, we still haven't made a full decision on what we will use for the race. The softer compound has really good grip but as the asphalt is aggressive here it may not last the full race distance. Therefore, we will evaluate the situation in the warm up tomorrow morning and make our decision then. Despite this, I am confident and happy with both compounds of tyres and really looking forward to the race where I hope to continue my strong run of results here."
9th / 1'32.343 / 7 laps
"It goes without saying that a fall is never the most ideal way to complete the session, but fortunately I am all ok for tomorrow's race and have only reopened my finger. The cause of the fall was because I was asking a little too much of the rear tyre as it would have lasted a maximum of almost two laps, but I tried to do three. The time itself was acceptable and I am happy to be on the third row, even though I know I could have been faster. The team and I undertook some really positive work during FP4 to prepare ourselves for the race where I used the hard tyre which certainly felt comfortable. We have made no decision on the choice of compound for tomorrow, but we'll wait and see how the grip levels are in warm up before tactfully deciding. Either way, I am happy with either choice of tyre as well as how the Yamaha feels and so am looking forward to getting a strong start plus having a positive race from the third row."
Impressive 4th position for Espargaro at the Brickyard
NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro impressed again scoring a second row position with 4th place. It was also a positive qualifying session for team mate Colin Edwards, who finished 15th in front of his home crowd and will start tomorrow's race from the fifth row. The Texas Tornado celebrated the US round with a special camouflage leather and helmet as a tribute to the American troops.
Wasting no time, Espargaro put in a very good time in his first flying lap and he further improved at the end of the session with an impressive 1'32.113. Once again the Spaniard was the fastest open class bike of the qualifying session.
Team mate Colin Edwards was also quiet satisfied with his lap time of 1'33.625 that ensured him the 15th position on the grid. After having struggled during the morning session, Colin was able to find a better set up in the afternoon and he is quite confident for tomorrow's race.
4th / 1'32.113 / 7 laps
"I'm happy with today's result. It has been a strange weekend. We did some chassis comparison and we worked a lot to improve the set up. It was important to start from one of the first two rows so I'm satisfied. Tomorrow it will be a tough race because, as we saw in the FP4, we are all very close so I expect a difficult race."
15th / 1'33.625 / 7 laps
"I'm reasonably happy with this qualifying. This morning we had too much weight on the rear so during FP4 we made some adjustments and the feeling improved a bit. I look forward to tomorrow's race. The support of the crowd is amazing. I saw a lot of Texas flags along the track and tomorrow I will give my best to thank the fans for this great support."
Dovizioso takes his Ducati to a fantastic second place in Indianapolis GP qualifying. Twelfth place and row 4 for Crutchlow.
Andrea Dovizioso put in a superb lap in the decisive qualifying session for the Indianapolis Grand Prix to clinch the second quickest time, thus guaranteeing himself a front row start for tomorrow's race. The Italian rider finished the Q2 session with a time of 1'31.844, just two-tenths of a second away from Marquez's pole time.
It is the second time that Dovizioso has obtained a front-row start this year, after the one at Le Mans, while it is also the 92nd time in the history of MotoGP that a Ducati will start from the front row.
Cal Crutchlow continues to have a difficult weekend, although today he made a significant improvement over yesterday, lowering his time by over one second. Cal had to take part in Q1 and after gaining access to Q2, had to settle for 12th place and a row 4 start tomorrow.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 2nd (1'31.844)
"We needed that, the front row always helps! We have done a good job for the race and this weekend we have always been quick in all conditions. I am happy with the feeling and our speed, but I think in any case that the race will be a tough one so for the moment I'm enjoying the front row. I admit that following Marquez gave me a bit of a hand: I had the pace for a low 1'32 lap, but I followed him on his quick lap and I also got down under the 1'32 mark. Unfortunately after a few laps the tyres drop off quite a lot and for us it becomes more complicated. But we'll see tomorrow: in any case starting up front helps a lot and I'll try and take advantage of the situation as best as possible!"
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 12th (1'32.794)
"We've obviously been having a difficult weekend again, but at least I made it into Q2. I think we made quite a big improvement today and as a result I'm more optimistic after today's performance than what I was yesterday. I'm still a little slow over the initial first lap but I think we found a better feeling and a better overall pace. We need to make a few set-up improvements in the warm-up tomorrow morning and then I look forward to having a better race tomorrow."