Dani Pedrosa picked up his first pole position in MotoGP since the fall of 2015 on Saturday at Jerez, topping the timesheets in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Pedrosa edged out Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez by just 0.049 seconds in the final stages of qualifying to take a memorable pole position on home soil.
Pedrosa headed up a front-row lock-out for Honda, with satellite LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow finishing third.
The Spaniard will be chasing his first win of the season on Sunday as he looks to rise from sixth place in the riders’ championship, with Saturday’s success marking his first pole since the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales secured fourth place on the grid, finishing four-tenths of a second off Pedrosa, while Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone was fifth ahead of Tech3’s Johann Zarco.
MotoGP championship leader and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi struggled to seventh in qualifying, and will start the race just ahead of former teammate and erstwhile rival Jorge Lorenzo, who took eighth for Ducati. Jonas Folger and Jack Miller rounded out the top 10.
INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.
Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.
It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.
Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)