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Stoner Grabs 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP Pole

MotoGP points leader Casey Stoner won the pole for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP with a track-record lap of 1 minute, 38.850 seconds Saturday on a Repsol Honda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.   

Stoner, from Australia, broke the track record of 1:39.730 set in 2009 by Dani Pedrosa.

“Pretty happy with the lap times we’re getting,” Stoner said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, how it plays out. Tires will play a factor in it. We’re just going to have to see if we made the right choice and make sure we’re there at the end. I think there’s going to be a lot different race tomorrow than what it looks in qualifying.”

The 28-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. Sunday on the 2.621-mile IMS circuit. American Ben Spies qualified second at 1:39.373 on a Yamaha Factory Racing machine. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo occupied the final spot on the front row, qualifying third at 1:39.629 on a Yamaha Factory Racing bike.

“The bike’s working really good,” Spies said. Just couldn’t quite get the fast lap out of the bike when we put the new rear (tire) on. The Yamaha is working good, and we’re both on the front row, so we’ll try to put together a good race.”

Defending Red Bull Indianapolis GP champion Pedrosa was fourth at 1:39.947. American Colin Edwards qualified sixth at 1:40.098 on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike, while 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden rounded out the American contingent in eighth with a best lap of 1:40.244 on a Ducati.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi qualified a disappointing 14th at 1:40.975 on his Ducati. He was slowed by a crash early in the one-hour session.

Marc Marquez, from Spain, won the Moto2 pole by one-thousandth of a second over Italian Simone Corsi. Marquez’s best time was 1:44.038 on the Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Suter, with Corsi trailing at 1:44.039 on the Ioda Racing Project FTR.

Points leader Nico Terol, from Spain, won the 125cc pole at 1:48.199 on a Bankia Aspar Team 125cc Aprilia. Terol will aim for his third Red Bull Indianapolis GP victory Sunday, as he won the 125cc race in 2008 and 2010.

Tyler O’Hara, from Petaluma, Calif., edged Steve Rapp and Jason DiSalvo in a thrilling finish to the first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race of the weekend. O’Hara passed Rapp on the final straightaway to win by .048 of a second, with Di Salvo just .107 of a second behind in third.

On-track action starts at 8:40 a.m. Sunday with the 125cc warm-up, followed by the warm-ups for Moto2 and MotoGP at 9:10 and 9:40 a.m., respectively.

Racing will start with a 23-lap 125cc event at 11 a.m., followed by a 26-lap Moto2 event at 12:15 p.m. and the 28-lap MotoGP event at 2 p.m. The second AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race will conclude the event weekend with a 10-lap race at 3:30 p.m.

***

2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: Tickets for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP remain available Race Morning.

Fans wanting to attend the race need to go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road or to one of the satellite ticket offices, located outside of Gates 3, 6, 9, and 10.

Tickets start at $40 for general admission for Race Day. All children 12 and under will be admitted free with a general admission ticket holder. All ticket offices will open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 3 p.m.

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