The Racing Capital
of the World
August 18, 2012 | By Paul Kelly
Dani Pedrosa turned the quickest lap ever by a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1 minute, 38.813 seconds, on his Repsol Honda to win the pole Saturday, Aug. 18 for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race.
Pedrosa, from Spain, broke the record of 1:38.850 set by his teammate, Casey Stoner, during qualifying in 2011. Pedrosa became the first rider to win the pole more than once for this event, as he also captured the top spot in 2009.
“I think the track will be a little bit different,” Pedrosa said about the race Sunday. “But sure, most important is that more or less the setting is good. And the race here is always tough. It’s warm, and we have tough competitors, and it’s long. But sure confident, and I'll try to keep focus on the race and do a good race.”
The 28-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.
2012 MotoGP points leader Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Andrea Dovizioso of Italy will join Pedrosa on the front row. 2010 World Champion Lorenzo continued his streak of qualifying on the front row all five years of this event with a lap of 1:38.913 on his Yamaha Factory machine. Dovizioso will start on the front row at IMS for the first time after turning a top lap of 1:39.235 on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
American Ben Spies qualified fourth at 1:39.279 on his Yamaha Factory machine. But Spies was one of three top riders to suffer heavy, high-side crashes during the one-hour qualifying session, falling in Turn 13. He suffered a bruised right shoulder and was cleared to race by medical officials.
Fellow American Nicky Hayden will not race Sunday after suffering a concussion and a fracture of two bones in his right hand in a crash between Turns 14 and 15 on his Ducati Team bike. Hayden ended up eighth on the grid.
It remains uncertain whether defending World Champion Casey Stoner will race after his crash in Turn 13 on a Repsol Honda. He suffered small fractures to his right ankle and will be re-evaluated Sunday morning before his status to race is determined. He qualified sixth.
Americans Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates both qualified for the MotoGP race on wild-card entries fielded by American teams. Rapp earned the 22nd spot on the grid at 1:43.673 on his Attack Performance APR, while Yates will start 23rd at 1:44.312 on his GPTech BCL.
Pol Espargaro of Spain won the pole for the 26-lap Moto2 race, which starts at 12:20 p.m. Sunday. Sandro Cortese of Germany won the pole for the 23-lap Moto3 race, which starts at 11 a.m.
Hector Faubel of Spain was admitted to Methodist Hospital with trauma to his abdomen after crashing in Turn 16 during the early stages of Moto3 qualifying. A CT scan showed no major injuries.
PJ Jacobsen, from Montgomery, N.Y., was declared the winner of the first AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race even though he fell out of the lead on Lap 6. Jacobsen’s spill triggered a four-bike pileup, causing AMA officials to red-flag the race short of its scheduled 10-lap distance.
Kyle Wyman took the lead when Jacobsen crashed. But since the race was red-flagged before Wyman reached the Yard of Bricks start-finish line, the final race order was determined by the running order on the last completed lap, Lap 5.
Wyman ended up second, with Bennie Carlson third in the first of two races for Harley-Davidson XR1200 machines. The second 10-lap race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Public gates open at 7 a.m.