DANI PEDROSA (1st – Repsol Honda): “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. Lorenzo picked up his pace, 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”.
JORGE LORENZO (2nd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “A really tough weekend so far, I really thought I wouldn’t be able to deliver but finally we modified the bike a lot with some weight on the rear to enter the corners with more confidence. I felt great as a result, could lean a lot and open the throttle quickly so I got second and was close to Dani. We don’t have a bad pace but not as good as Dani yet, we need to improve a little in the morning”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (3rd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “Honestly I didn’t really expect to be on the front row today because Ben and Casey have both been very fast all weekend and I knew it was going to be difficult to finish in front of them. I am sorry for what happened to them but I am really happy to be on the front row because that is always important. It is even more at this track because the first section is very tight and it will be important to try and break with the leading group. I’m sure I could have gone a little bit faster but I was just on a new tyre when Nicky crashed and the red flags came out again. I am looking forward to the race now because we have improved the bike in each session and made some really positive progress. I am confident that we can make another step forward for tomorrow but the race is going to be very hard. This track is very slippery and you really have to pay attention and at the end of the race there will be a lot of sliding. I am sure I can fight close to the front to put myself in contention for a strong result”.
BEN SPIES (4th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “My shoulder is really sore after that crash, maybe some torn ligaments so it’s pretty painful. I’m getting some treatment and we’ll see how it is tomorrow. It’s frustrating as we’ve been going really well all weekend and I’ve been feeling really confident with the bike, I think we could have been on pole. The track surface is pretty tricky at the end there, it seems to have caught a few people today”.
STEFAN BRADL (5th – LCR Honda): “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 not perfect”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (7th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I’m reasonably happy to be starting from seventh on the grid but obviously it would have been good to be further up the grid. The first couple of corners here are really tight, so you have to be pretty careful to avoid any trouble. If I can get away with those guys at the front I can do a good job but it is going to be a tough battle. There is a big group of guys close together, so there could be some close action out there tomorrow. For qualifying we made some good steps with the set-up of the bike but it was mayhem out there to try and go fast and get in a clean lap. Everybody was holding each other up and you’d waste a lot of time just cruising around trying to get space. That’s why I’m seventh but I felt I could have done a better job but I’ve got no excuses. I’ve got to get a good start and try and get away with the leading group”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (9th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “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”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (10th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am very satisfied with the result from qualifying. Tenth place is a product of our hard work here since yesterday. We found a good electronic setting which has allowed us to control the engine braking perfectly and we were able to use the first two outings this afternoon to try the hard tyres in case we want to use them tomorrow. We’re still not sure because there is a big difference between them and the softs but they both offer good performance. I think I could have improved my lap time a little more but I caught one of the protective poles into turn one and it cut through the brake cable so I was lucky not to crash. Tenth place is a good result, it equals my best grid of the year from Jerez. It is hard work at this track but we have worked well and I hope we can back it up tomorrow”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (11th – Ducati Team): “It’s a shame because this morning went pretty well. I was able to do some good laps both with the hard tyre and the soft, and in the end I wasn’t so far off, actually lapping on the pace of the second group. That made me optimistic, and I thought that I could go 1’39” in qualifying, but I wasn’t even able to match my time from free practice. I didn’t have rear grip, and the rear tyre was sliding a lot. On the last fast lap, I had a big risk in the same turn where Nicky crashed. This track has strange asphalt that has less grip than what we’re used to but that still wears the tyres. For that reason, we have tyres with stiffer carcases at our disposition here. We’ll try to make some changes for tomorrow in order to gain a bit more grip, and we’ll see what my race pace is”.
ALEIX ESPARGARO (12th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I’m really happy, even more so than when I have qualified as the top CRT in the past. I really enjoyed myself on the bike and I needed it after such a strange weekend at Laguna Seca. We have done a great job and the bike is working perfectly. I know we need to put a better lap together if we want to be close to Randy but I am not concerned about that right now. The important thing is that the bike set-up is great and we have found something that works at a difficult circuit. I’m looking forward to the race and the objective is to be fighting with my team-mate to be the top CRT”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (14th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “Lot of red flags, lot of brutal crashes. This was really tough qualifying practice. The track is better than last year, but it still slips a lot. I don´t remember so much highsides during one session. Unfortunately the last red flag brought lot of complications to us. It became in the moment when we had started to push hard. In the last eight minutes we were able to get faster, but only in last two laps. And it wasn´t enough. Fifth row is not good, of course. But the most important thing is to adapt to the specific condition of Indy track”.
MATTIA PASINI (15th – Speed Master): “I’m quite happy with how things went today. We could have done a little bit better, but we didn’t manage to take advantage of the new tyre as we had planned because of the red flag, as the session was stopped. We worked well and we are quite fast, tomorrow we are going to put in our best effort to fight in the race with the other ART machines and to achieve a good result in this GP”.
MICHELE PIRRO (16th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “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”.
COLIN EDWARDS (20th – NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “Today wasn’t exactly what we wanted as far as position but from where we started this morning we actually made some improvements. We went faster, we went back to an old (beginning of the year) electronics setting and it felt a lot better. Chassis side we changed the link with the one we usually use in the rain. The track is very bumpy and we thought it would have been a good idea to try it, and it worked; it was kind of a surprise. I just feel a little more confident, just need to get a good start and get some more laps under us”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús