Marquez Breaks Track Record, Wins Red Bull Indianapolis GP Pole
World Championship points leader Marc Marquez turned the quickest lap ever by a motorcycle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1 minute, 37.958 seconds, on his Repsol Honda to win the pole Saturday, Aug. 17 for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race.
Marquez, from Spain, broke the record of 1 minute, 38.813 seconds set last year by his countryman, Repsol Honda teammate and two-time Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Dani Pedrosa.
The 27-lap MotoGP race starts at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
“Always I feel so good on this track with the other categories, and with MotoGP from FP1, I feel good with the track and the bike,” Marquez said. “And this qualifying practice, I know that for one lap there, the tire give me very good grip. Tomorrow will be a tough race because everybody is struggling quite a lot at the end of the race with the tire. Anyways, I think we have a good base. We are ready for to fight for the win, but for sure, Jorge (Lorenzo) and Dani will be strong. We will monitor the situation.”
This is the fourth pole of the season for sensational rookie Marquez, who won the Moto2 race in 2011 and 2012 at Indianapolis.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Pedrosa will join Marquez on the front row for the race Sunday. 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Lorenzo posted the second-quickest time of 1:38.471 on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine in continuing his streak of qualifying on the front row all six years of this event. A two-time winner of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Pedrosa turned a lap of 1:38.485 placing him on the outside of Row 1.
Pedrosa reached a top trap speed of 210.1 mph during the second qualifying session today, the fastest speed ever recorded by a motorcycle at IMS. Pedrosa set the previous record of 209.2 mph (336.7 km/h) this afternoon during the fourth practice. The speed trap is located just past the Yard of Bricks start-finish line at IMS.
“I think, yeah, tomorrow it’s going to be a very hard race,” Pedrosa said. “It’s a track where you move a lot on the bike, so the fitness is very important.”
Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain joined Marquez, Lorenzo and Pedrosa in bettering the previous IMS motorcycle track record with his quickest lap of 1:38.502 on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Crutchlow will start fourth Sunday.
Americans were led in qualifying by Nicky Hayden, who qualified sixth at 1:39.142 on his Ducati. Colin Edwards posted his best qualifying effort since he began riding a production-based Claiming Rules Team machine in 2012 by qualifying 12th in 1:40.372 on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki. Edwards’ previous-best CRT qualifying performance was 13th three times last season.
“We loaded the bike off the trailer, and it worked,” Edwards said. “And it worked good yesterday, and we made a few small changes at the end. We got a good, really good race tire setup. I really hadn’t used the soft tire, and then when we put it on for qualifying it was obviously, ‘Bam, here we go.’”
American wild-card rider Blake Young qualified 24th in 1:44.472 on his Attack Performance Racing bike.
During this morning’s MotoGP practice session, American Ben Spies fell in Turn 4 and was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder. He is unable to compete in the race Sunday.
Spies had his right shoulder surgically reconstructed in October 2012 after a heavy crash at the Grand Prix of Malaysia and returned to action in Indianapolis after missing the previous seven races due to injury.
Scott Redding of Great Britain won the pole for the 25-lap Moto2 race, which starts at 12:20 p.m. Sunday, with American wild-card rider James Rispoli of Daytona Beach, Fla., qualifying 29th. Alex Rins of Spain won the pole position for the Moto3 race, which starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Jeremy McWilliams of Northern Ireland won the first of two AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series races this weekend at IMS by .039 of a second over Tyler O’Hara of Petaluma, Calif.
Hafizh Syahrin of Malaysia finished third, .130 of a second behind McWilliams. Pole sitter Steve Rapp finished fourth, .188 of a second behind winner McWilliams after a thrilling race.
Shane Turpin won the pole for the inaugural FIM eRoadRacing World Cup electric motorcycle race at IMS, which starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Turpin and No. 2 qualifier Eric Bostrom each ride Icon Brammo Empulse RR bikes.
Public gates open at 7 a.m. On-track action continues with a Moto3 warm-up at 8:40 a.m., with motorcycles on track for the rest of the day.
Red Bull Indianapolis GP Race Day tickets: General Admission is $50, with 12 and under free with purchase of adult General Admission ticket. Reserved seats begin at $70.
Tickets can be purchased from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building on the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road.