Just one day after confirming a move to the factory Yamaha team for 2011, MotoGP rookie Ben Spies took his first grand prix pole position, in front of his home fans, at Indianapolis.

Spies topped the timesheets with an incredible late attack to beat MotoGP title leader and to-be-confirmed 2011 team-mate Jorge Lorenzo by 0.22sec.

The Texan's achievement marked the first pole position by a satellite MotoGP rider since team-mate Colin Edwards put his Tech 3 Yamaha on pole for the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix.

"This is a great feeling for me to get my first MotoGP pole position and for it to come in front of the American crowd and here at Indianapolis with all the history makes it even more special," said Spies, the reigning World Superbike champion who is making his 15th MotoGP start this weekend.

"And I'm glad for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too. This team helped catapult me into this position and I've been trying to give as much for them as I can, even though I'll be moving to Yamaha's factory team next year.

"I've got to say I really put it on the line this afternoon. I'd come so close at Brno a couple of weeks ago to getting my first pole position and I really wanted to finish the job on home soil.

"And being on the front row with Nicky [Hayden] too is pretty incredible for MotoGP racing in America.

"You know, there were a bunch of boxes to be ticked this year, but the problem is there's really only one left," he said of his victory chances on Sunday.

"We've had a top fives, a podium and now a pole. I mean, why not? You always go for it. In any race you go, like I said, a racer is there to win; it's not always to be had.

"But tomorrow we're on pole. If we get a good start, yeah, we've got to hang in there, and if we're there we'll try to win the race."

Spies has already taken one podium this season, a third place at Silverstone, which is also the only podium by a rookie or satellite rider this year.

Edwards will start from ninth place.

"Honestly I expected to be a bit higher up than ninth and after this morning I felt I could get into the mid-40s and be on the second row. But it was really hot out there this afternoon and it made the track quite slippery," said Edwards. "When you put the soft tyres on you expect to go a fair bit faster but I didn't really improve much at all.

"On the hard tyre for the race we've got a good setting and I'm confident of a strong race. I've had a good pace on the hard tyre all weekend so a top six and my best result of the season is not out of the question.

"I'd like to congratulate Ben too because his performance today was just fantastic. He did an awesome job and it is great for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team too."


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