MotoGP: Marquez bags pole for Sunday’s Red Bull Indy GP

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Marc Marquez will look to continue his MotoGP rampage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the pole position in Sunday’s 27-lap Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider and reigning MotoGP champion picked up his eighth pole of the year today by turning in a lap of 1 minute, 31.619 seconds around the IMS road course. On Sunday, Marquez will look to extend his season-long win streak in MotoGP to an even 10 races.

“It is really good to be back on pole after the holidays,” the Spaniard said to the MotoGP website. “I am really happy and it gives us a lot of confidence. Our pace for tomorrow it high and if it’s dry I think we can fight for the victory.

“The tires will be a big decision, especially for the rear.”

Sunday’s forecast in Indy calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms in the region, with temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s.

If Marquez can win Sunday, he will equal a feat of motorcycle legend Giacomo Agostini, who won the opening 10 races of the 1970 season in the top class that’s now known as MotoGP.

Joining Marquez on the front row will be Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (second, 1:31.844) and Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo (third, 1:31.869).

Aleix Espargaro, Valentino Rossi, and Pol Espargaro will go off from Row 2, followed by Andrea Iannone, Dani Pedrosa, and Bradley Smith in Row 3.

Smith fell on his final qualifying lap and sustained an injury to one of the fingers on his left hand according to the Associated Press, but his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team says he’ll be able to race tomorrow.

40-year-old Colin Edwards, the sole American on the grid for Sunday’s race, will start 15th on his Yamaha. Indy will mark the final MotoGP event on home ground for the Texas Tornado, as he is set to retire soon.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.