Cortese takes Indianapolis pole in dramatic qualifying

Saturday, 18 August 2012

It was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who was on top from during an eventful qualifying for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix as he took a superb pole position ahead of Danny Kent and Maverick Viñales.

The session got off to a bad start as Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Héctor Faubel suffered a huge highside in the final turn, sending him summersaulting over the handlebars. Qualifying was red-flagged for approximately ten minutes while Faubel was taken to the medical centre, where he was cleared of any serious injury. He has however been taken to Indianapolis Methodist Hospital to further assess his chest and back pain he is reporting.

Once proceedings got back under way it was Cortese who put in a top time of 1.48’545 to earn him a start from the front in tomorrow’s race. Lining up next to him in second is teammate Kent who will be frustrated that he was pipped to pole by a very small margin. Blusens Avintia’s Viñales completes the front row after being caught up in traffic on his final laps.

The second row is headed by RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom, with fifth spot on the grid going to AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Sixth place is occupied by Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins, who was unable to repeat his practice performance. JHK Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez finished the qualifying session in seventh, after having to abort a fast lap in the final seconds. Next to him in eighth, Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati put in a solid showing, while completing the third row in ninth is Andalucia JHK Laglisse’s Alberto Moncayo.

The session was marred with further accidents, as Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller suffered a unfortunate crash shortly after the restart, which saw his bike slide into and take out JHK Laglisse’s Adrián Martín. The Spaniard was able to re-join, yet Miller broke his left collarbone for the second time this season, having also broken the right side this year.

With only ten minutes left, San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli added to the crash list with a tumble at turn 11, though was able to ride back to the pits. This was followed shortly by Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb, who highsided his machine at turn four, sighting serious pain in his right arm and wrist. New addition to the Moto3 field, Ambrogio Next Racing’s Alex Márquez, suffered three crashes throughout the session, with the latter one, a big highside, bringing out the red flag with only 23 seconds left on the clock. Márquez also went to the medical centre sighting pain in his foot.

The red flag put paid to many of the riders’ final hot laps, with Vázquez being on a pole position lap as it had to be aborted in the final turn.

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