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A Conversation With ... Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden, Julian Simon and Marc Marquez

MODERATOR: Well, everybody here, a warm welcome to the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix qualifying press conference. A bit of history in the making here, of course, in the MotoGP qualifying. Ben Spies told us in the Czech Republic, Brno, when he qualified on the front row, he didn't realize you won a watch if you're in pole position. Ben is in pole position, his first full season in MotoGP. A tremendous performance by the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider.

Alongside him on that front row of the grid for the MotoGP race, the championship leader, Jorge Lorenzo. He's been on that front row for every race this season.

And on the front row for the first time since he joined Ducati back on the front row, first time this season, of course, Nicky Hayden at his home track. And, of course, Nicky has finished on the podium here for the last two years. Congratulations to Nicky Hayden.

On to the Moto2 class, what an incredible qualifying session in Moto2, the last 10 minutes. Julian Simon the current 125 cc World Champion, but first time in pole position in the Moto2 class.

In 125, it's back to normal, Marc Marquez, 17 years old, leads the World Championship and it's his sixth pole position of the season for Marc Marquez.

The BMW Award, of course, at the end of the season, the lucky man wins a BMW car. Jorge Lorenzo, I think you can almost collect the keys for the car. Jorge Lorenzo on 237; Casey Stoner in second place on 179; Dani Pedrosa in third place on 178.

We're delighted today, of course, Tissot, the official timekeepers of MotoGP, we have a very special guest to make the award of the pole position watches today. Mitch Daniels, of course, the governor of Indiana, has very kindly joined us. He's a motorcycle man, I believe, so he's very pleased to be here at the Motor Speedway. And I'd ask him to step up to start with this, make the presentation to Marc Marquez for the 125 cc pole position. (Applause)

Could we perhaps get up on the stage just on the front here a little bit? Just so everybody, up on the stage, Marc, thank you. Thank you, Mark.

We come now on to the Moto2 class. As I say, he's the current 125 cc World Champion; his first, though, pole position in Moto2, Julian Simon. (Applause) Thank you, Julian.

On to MotoGP, the first pole position of his career for Ben Spies, the first pole position for an American rider since Colin Edwards in May 2008 at the Grand Prix of China in Shanghai. Congratulations to Ben Spies. (Applause)

Now, the governor is going to have to leave before the press conference, he’s got a very busy schedule. So if I could just ask the three pole position people, please, to come forward for the photographs. That’s Marc, obviously Ben, and Julian. Julian, if we could come forward for the photograph.

Sorry, Nicky and Jorge, to keep you waiting. If we could just do this all together, that would be perfect. Thank you. Thank you, gentlemen. Mr. Governor, thank you very, very much indeed for your time. Hope you've enjoyed your first look at MotoGP. Thank you for your time. Thank you. OK. On with the press conference. Ben, quite a weekend for you. Up and down, as it has been for I think most people here at Indianapolis. First of all, congratulations, pole position. Two weeks ago was the first front row, and now you've gone one better in pole.

BEN SPIES: Yeah, it's a dream, I mean to have a pole position at any time in MotoGP and to be able to do it in the first season on the Monster Tech 3 bike in front of the American crowd, it's great and add Indianapolis to it. It's kind of ticked all the boxes this weekend. We just got to, you know, not get ahead of ourselves, so it gives us some common edge for tomorrow but got to kind of live the moment right now. You know, it kind of took the pressure off the announcement on Friday and just knowing what's going on and am I'm really wanting to repay the Tech 3 team because they've helped put me in a place to be there and, you know, to be able to get a pole for them and hopefully can end the season good and keep being consistent and progress. But, you know, today we'll just savor the moment right now and go in tomorrow and try to put a hard 45 minutes and see what happens.

MODERATOR: It's been an interesting weekends, I think, for everybody in MotoGP, grip level has been a problem. You've crashed yourself, and the weather conditions also seem to be getting a little bit hotter.

SPIES: Yeah, the weather is OK for, I think, like me and Nick being back home, this is kind of like a little bit of a cold front for me at least. So it's nice. But today the conditions were difficult with the track, not just because it was hot, but a lot of sliding around. It gets greasy, you know, and through a couple of the turns you're almost kind of twiddling your thumbs, spinning the bike and playing around with it. It was difficult for everybody. We put together a good lap. It wasn't the most perfect lap in the world, but we finally didn't make too many mistakes. Like I said, it gives us confidence for tomorrow, but we've also got to find some more race pace. These guys are going fast. So we'll try to get a good start to stay there in the first few laps and try not to make mistakes and see what happens.

MODERATOR: Can you translate it into a race win from here?

SPIES: You know, there were a bunch of boxes to be ticked this year, but the problem is there's really only one left. We've had a top fives, a podium and now a pole. I mean, why not? You always go for it. In any race you go, like I said, a racer is there to win; it's not always to be had. But tomorrow we're on pole. If we get a good start, yeah, we've got to hang in there, and if we're there we'll try to win the race. We won't be thinking of that the first few laps, we'll just try to stay clean, and a good start's really key here with the first lap and first few turns. Just try to be consistent and give him a race at least, because if we don't he's going to be having a cappuccino with two races to go and not even going to be here. But it would be nice but we've just got to take one step at a time.

MODERATOR: Ben, congratulations and thank you very much.

Turning to Jorge Lorenzo, ladies and gentlemen, riding the Fiat Yamaha, obviously leading the championship. Front row start, Jorge, it's been a tough weekend for everybody, hasn't it? It's been very, very difficult out there.

JORGE LORENZO: Yeah, I think so. The conditions of the track are quite difficult for everyone. It's so bumpy comparing to the normal tracks, especially to the last track in Brno, and also the hot conditions don't give you the best confidence, especially in the front tire. So many crashes today, so today was easy to make a mistake. I obviously I pushed the maximum to get the pole position, but Ben's lap was quite quick, you know, for these conditions. I only could make second place today. That is good, but, well, of course I would like to be in the middle.

MODERATOR: Just not a warning to you but you've got the big lead in the championship and what has happened this weekend, you say so many crashes must make you think, “Yeah, just see how things go.”

LORENZO: To be honest, I don't think too much when I am on the bike, no. For me it's better to be concentrating in your riding and to get your instinct to work, no? But anyway, for sure I would try not to make so many crazy things tomorrow to be fast, but not to take a lot of risk.

MODERATOR: And, Ben, his first season, I remember your first season in MotoGP, it's tough. First pole is very important, isn't it?

LORENZO: Yes. He's doing a great progress, no? At the beginning in Qatar, he make a good race but also were special conditions. Now he's getting closer to the top guys. Today he make very quick two laps, so he deserves it, and I thi

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