Several riders, including MotoGP stars Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies, crashed during qualifying on Saturday.
Valentino Rossi, the most successful MotoGP rider in history, explained why there were so many slips and falls as riders prepared for Sunday’s races.
“This asphalt don’t have a lot of grip, but at the same time, creates very much temperature on the tire,” he said. “And Bridgestone brings some tires harder on the edge.”
Germany’s Sandro Cortese, the pole-sitter for the Moto3 race, said the track is less than ideal.
“Grip is getting better, but it’s still not as perfect as in some other tracks,” he said.
Britain’s Danny Kent, who rides in Moto3, said the warm weather played a role.
“It was a little bit hot, and I think that is why you saw quite a few people crash because where it is so hot has made the track a bit greasy.”
Cal Crutchlow, a MotoGP rider who also crashed, said the riders need to adjust.
“It’s not just about that,” he said. “You have to learn how to ride the track, as well. If it’s slippery, you’ve got to learn how to ride it.”
When asked if perhaps a better tire could be used, Rossi chuckled.
“This is the tire to suit this asphalt,” Rossi said. “With a normal tire, it would be very, very difficult to arrive at the end.”
MOTO3 QUALIFYING: Sandro Cortese continued his dominance in the Moto3 class.
The points leader claimed his fifth pole of the year on Saturday. His best lap, 1 minute, 48.545 seconds, came on the 14th of his 16 qualifying laps.
“It was good,” he said. “Really, the whole weekend is going well. We have a good bike, and everything is working in the right direction. So now, we just have to be calm and hope the race (Sunday) is as good as (Saturday).”
Kent qualified second in 1:48.628, earning a prime opportunity to move up from 10th in the standings. Maverick Vinales, who ranks second in the points standings, qualified third in 1:48.643.
Cortese feels the pressure from Kent and Vinales.
“I have to give 110 percent because Danny, Vinales are always so close to me,” Cortese said. “But I think at the moment I am in good position, and I feel quite relaxed and hope I can do a strong race (Sunday).”
FAUBEL CRASHES: Spain’s Hector Faubel flew off his bike on Saturday and was injured during qualifying for Sunday’s Moto3 race.
A spokeswoman for the Bankia Aspar team said the 28-year-old rider bruised his ribs and back after going airborne and landing on his back. He was checked out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s medical center, then transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital.
Faubel finished two qualifying laps and is 29th out of 33 riders on the grid for the race. The spokeswoman said she believes Faubel will be ready to compete.
Moto GP also confirmed that Hector Barbera, who crashed during a Moto GP practice Friday and sustained a fractured vertebra, will go home to Spain for further testing. Toni Elias will replace him in Sunday’s race.
ELIAS’ RESUME: Toni Elias brings a strong resume to the MotoGP race.
He is the 2010 Indianapolis Moto2 winner and the career leader in Moto2 wins.
This season hasn’t been his best. He ranks 15th in Moto2 this season and finished 20th out of 21 riders at Laguna Seca last month. He qualified 17th for Sunday’s race.
MOTO2 QUALIFYING: Spain’s Pol Espargaro earned the pole position for Sunday’s Moto2 race.
Espargaro’s fast lap of 1 minute, 42.602 seconds put him ahead of No. 2 qualifier Marc Marquez of Spain, and Andrea Iannone of Italy.
It is Espargaro’s third pole of the season. He was the top qualifier in Britain and Italy.
Espargaro won the pole in the 125cc race at Indy in 2008.
MotoGP QUALIFYING: Dani Pedrosa earned the pole position for Sunday’s Moto GP race with a fast lap of 1 minute, 38.813 seconds, just ahead of Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo. Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso qualified third.
Stoner, last year’s winner, qualified sixth despite a crash that left him with a torn ligament in his right ankle.
NOT ALL THERE: Nicky Hayden was a bit loopy after his crash on Saturday.
“Nicky have a problem with the head, have a concussion, but he’s OK,” said Valentino Rossi, his teammate. “He says some strange things, but he’s good.”
Hayden’s time was the best among the American riders. Colin Edwards qualified 20th, Steve Yates was 22nd, and Aaron Yates was last in the field of 23 riders.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.