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Americans Spies, Hayden On Red Bull Indy MotoGP Front Row

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INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 28, 2010: American MotoGP riders Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden ignited cheers among the Red Bull Indianapolis GP crowd Aug. 28 by qualifying first and third, respectively, for Sunday’s third running of MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Spies, of Longview, Texas, earned his first career MotoGP pole in front of the home crowd with a fast lap of 1 minute, 40.105 seconds on the No. 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike.

Defending race winner Jorge Lorenzo, of Spain, qualified second at 1:40.325 on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team machine. Hayden, who lives a mere three hours from Indianapolis in Owensboro, Ky., will start on the outside of the front row in third by posting a lap of 1:40.336 on the No. 69 Ducati Team entry.

“We can’t get ahead of ourselves now, but to be on pole, the first pole for me in front of the American crowd and here at Indy, with all the history, it’s great,” Spies said. “We put it on the line that last bit and got it. To have two Americans on the front row here is pretty incredible. I wouldn’t have thought it coming into the weekend, but to be able to do it, now we just get a good start and give it everything we’ve got Sunday.”

Hayden’s result marks his first front-row start with the fabled Ducati Team, for which he has competed since the start of the 2009 season.

“I’m happy for it, it’s really important here for the race,” Hayden said. “The soft tires, we put them on and it was a big jump. Two Americans on the front row is good for MotoGP in America. We hope it brings a big crowd, and we’ll put on a good show and go for it.”

The MotoGP race starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday at IMS.

Spies’ pole was the first for an American since Colin Edwards was the top qualifier for the Grand Prix of China at the Shanghai Circuit in May 2008. The last time two Americans qualified on the front row was the 2006 Grand Prix of Portugal when Edwards, of Houston, started second and Hayden third.

Adding to the drama of Spies’ accomplishment, the Yamaha Tech 3 team is a “satellite” team of Yamaha’s, which receives updates in parts and technology throughout the season after the factory-backed Fiat Yamaha Team receives them.

The second row of the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP starting grid will consist of Repsol Honda Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa, who qualified fourth and fifth, respectively, and Hayden’s Ducati teammate Casey Stoner, who qualified sixth.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi will start seventh on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team entry while Edwards starts ninth (outside Row 3) on the No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Several riders experienced accidents during the qualifying session, most notably Rossi, who slid into the gravel trap in Turn 6, his second crash of the day.

Marc Marquez of Spain, who suffered a shoulder injury in the most recent 125cc class event at Brno in the Czech Republic, qualified on pole for the 125cc race with a lap of 1:48.124 on the No. 93 Red Bull Ajo Motorsport Derbi. Fellow Spaniard Julian Simon, the reigning 125cc world champion, earned his first career Moto2 pole with a lap of 1:46.139 on the Mapfre Aspar Team Suter.

Public gates open at 7 a.m. Sunday, and the first on-track activity of the day is the 125cc class warm-up at 8:40 a.m., with the MotoGP and Moto2 warm-ups to follow. The 125cc race starts at noon, with the Moto2 race at 1:15 p.m. serving as preludes to the MotoGP race at 3 p.m.