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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 11: Indianapolis

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
Indianapolis
U.S.A.
August 18, 2012

Mixed Day for Honda Riders

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Honda team in MotoGP qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa earned his third pole position of the season with the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle at the famed 4.216Km Brickyard, while team-mate Casey Stoner ended up in the medical centre after a vicious high-side crash early in the twice red flag-interrupted one hour session, held on a warm, sunny day in Speedway, Indiana.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA
(Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Stefan BRADL
(LCR Honda MotoGP)

The team-mates had dominated practice for the 11th round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship. Stoner was fastest in Free Practices 1 and 3, with Pedrosa second in both sessions. Pedrosa was fastest in FP2-Stoner was second-and again in qualifying.

Once Pedrosa took command of qualifying, just over 22 minutes into the session, he was never headed. Over the course of the final 38 minutes he strengthened his pole position three times, ending with a new fastest ever lap of 1m, 38.813s. Stoner held the circuit best lap of 1m, 38.850s from 2011. It did not hurt that he also clocked the fastest ever top speed by a motorcycle at IMS, 335.5Km/h.

Pedrosa’s MotoGP pole tally reached 22 all-time, two at IMS, and three this year; he was also on pole at Le Mans and Mugello.

Stoner was one of three riders to fall victim to the same section of track, the double left turns 13-14. The reigning world champion was exiting turn 13 when the rear of Repsol Honda RC213V came around, caught traction, and spat him into the air. Stoner landed face down, first hitting his toes and knees. When he tried to stand up his knees buckled. He was transported to the infield care centre where it was initially determined he may have a torn ligament in his right ankle. With debris on the track, the session was red flagged.

Stoner was fastest at the time of his crash, but fell to sixth overall.

The team will make a decision later this evening on Stoner’s fitness to race on Sunday.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) had his second best qualifying performance of the season. The German MotoGP rookie qualified fifth fastest-he had been fourth in Assen-on his first visit to the Brickyard on a MotoGP machine. Bradl had shown promise in the cooler morning temperatures by finishing fourth fastest, then took advantage of the warmer track in the afternoon to up his pace on the softer option rear tyre.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified ninth fastest after his work programme was interrupted by the red flags. (In addition to the Stoner red flag, a second one came with only eight minutes remaining.) The Spaniard and his crew were trying to make the most of the hard rear tyre, the presumptive race rubber, but the interruptions made it difficult to get a gauge on their effectiveness. And when he fitted the softer option his lap times did not improve.

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Michele Pirro also could no make the most of the softer tyres. The Italian MotoGP rookie, attacking the Brickyard for the first time on the Honda-powered San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT machine, ended up setting his fastest time on well worn hard rear tyre. Pirro qualified 16th in the top half of the CRT pack.

The Moto2 class had an extended summer break following the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. The time off served Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) well, with the Spaniard taking his second pole in a row and third of the year after the four weekend respite.

Espargaro finished the session with a new Moto2 circuit best lap of 1m, 42.602s, lowering the previous time of 1m, 44.038s set last year by title rival Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Suter).

In addition to poles here and in Italy, Espargaro earned his first pole at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a race he won.

Marquez had been the fastest rider until the 22-minute mark when Espargaro dropped him to second. Marquez spent the rest of the hour trying to regain his supremacy, only to fall short by .231s. Still, he hasnbeen on the front row for every race except Silverstone, where he qualified fifth.

Marquez enters Sunday’s tenth round of the Moto2 World Championship 34 points ahead of Espargaro and Andrea Iannone, the Speed Master - Speed Up rider who qualified third. Iannone was an identical distance from Marquez that Marquez was from Espargaro, .231s.

Iannone concentrated on his race set-up and testing tyre durability during much of qualifying.

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia FTR-Honda) qualified on a very tight front row and top 12 for Sunday’s Moto3 race. Vinales was third fastest behind KTM team-mates Sandro Cortese and Danny Kent, but less than a tenth of a second from pole.

Vinales starts the second half of the season trailing Cortese by nine points (164-155) and after having ended the first half with a win from pole in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Suter Honda) was sixth fastest and exactly half a second from the pole time.

Just behind Rins came JHK Laglisse FTR-Honda rider Efren Vazquez. Vazquez was .529s off pole and one of 12 riders on the same second as the pole-sitter.

Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)zoom
Casey STONER
(Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA
(Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)

MotoGP rider quotes

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: Pole position – 1m, 38.813s
“It was a tricky session because the asphalt was very slippery and we saw many nasty crashes already in Moto3 and then in MotoGP. It felt that you could control the slide, but suddenly many riders found themselves on the floor. It was crucial to keep the concentration on our riding and not make any mistake and achieve the lap time. To be in pole position is great at a track where the first sector is very tight and it's always good to have a clean start. We did a very good job today, testing the tyres, working on the bike and being ready for the hot laps. I feel we have a good setting for tomorrow. We are confident for the race, but other riders look strong as well. (Jorge) Lorenzo picked up his pace, (Ben) Spies is strong here and I hope Casey has nothing serious and can be on the grid. We will need to fight at the maximum tomorrow.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 5th – 1m, 39.437s
“I am very pleased with the adjustments we made on the bike and P5 is a good place for us. Basically we are quite fast on both tyres: we had a good pace on hard tyre and I was expecting a bit more from the soft one, but it’s okay anyway. I think we have a good race pace and a good overall package because today I felt very comfortable on the bike. The qualifying session was a bit weird with a lot of crashes. I found it a bit dangerous because out of the ideal line the surface was very slippery. The grip surely improved from yesterday but the track condition is perfect.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 9th – 1m, 40.072s
“We worked hard today and took a step forward with the setting from yesterday although it is still not where we want it. In the afternoon we concentrated on getting some race data on the hard tyres and unfortunately the red flag interrupted us. Anyway, I was happy with our pace. On the soft tyre I actually had less grip and couldn't improve my lap times or grid position, but I am confident for the race and with a good start I think I can be fighting for a top result.”
Michele Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 16th – 1m, 41.449s
“Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the most of the new tyres and so my best lap was on the hard option with ten laps on it. It's a shame but the positive thing is that the race pace is close to the guys in front of me and if I get a good start we can be with them in the race.”


Moto2 rider quotes

Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex: Pole position, 1m, 42.602s
“I am very happy with this third pole position of the season, achieved with an amazing time that I didn’t think I was going to make yesterday afternoon. The track is complicated and the asphalt is very special, but we have adapted to it and I managed to be the fastest. To be the first on the grid does not guarantee anything and I know that tomorrow will be a tough race. And not just Marc (Marquez), because surely (Andrea) Iannone, (Scott) Redding and some others will also be there to put forward difficult races. I've always been on the podium at this circuit, four times and with a win in the 125cc class, and I hope the fifth tomorrow, possibly ahead of Marquez to close the gap that he has in the standings.”
Andrea Iannone, Speed Master – Speed Up: 3rd, 1m, 43.064s
“I’m very happy for the result we got today. Yesterday we were struggling a little, but we worked hard and we managed to improve the set up of my bike and to achieve a good feeling. Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaró were very fast since the beginning of the session. The race of tomorrow will be tough and there’ll be some great battles. We’ll do our best and we’ll see what happens.”


Moto3 Rider Quotes

Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia - FTR Honda, 3rd – 1m, 48.643s
“I am fairly satisfied with how we are progressing, step-by-step. We will continue working in tomorrow's warmup to continue our improvement. I am satisfied with the times that we are setting and motivated for tomorrow. The KTM bikes are performing better at this GP and we will have to put up with that this time, but soon we will get to tracks at which we have the advantage.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0 - Suter Honda, 6th – 1m, 49.045s
“I am satisfied with the performance of the team today, despite there being a few aspects that we will need to improve tomorrow. We got a good time in the afternoon, although some problems with the rear slowed us down a little. In any case, I am calm about tomorrow and sure that my team will solve these problems for tomorrow. (Sandro) Cortese has the best pace at the moment, but the race will be run in groups and we have to be up at the front in order to fight alongside the rest."
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Round 11: Indianapolis Qualifying
MotoGP Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
7Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
8Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
9Alvaro BAUTISTA (Team San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)
11Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
12Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
13Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)
14Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
15Mattia PASINI (Speed Master)
Moto2 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
2Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
3Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
4Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)
5Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
6Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
7Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)
8Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
9Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)
10Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
11Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
12Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)
13Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)
14Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
15Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
Moto3 Class
Rank Rider (Team)
1Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens Avintia)
4Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
5Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
6Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK Laglisse)
8Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)
9 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK Laglisse)
10Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
11Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
12Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)
13Alessandro TONUCCI (Team Italia FMI)
14Louis ROSSI (Racing Team Germany)
15Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)

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