Nicky Hayden made it two Americans in the top three during qualifying for the Indianapolis MotoGP round, as the #69 claimed his first ever front row with Ducati.

Hayden qualified in the top-three 24 times as a Honda MotoGP rider from 2003-2008, but it took until his 28th attempt to finally do so for Ducati.

The 2006 world champion was on pole until 2010 championship leader Jorge Lorenzo lapped just 0.011sec quicker with three minutes remaining, then fellow American Ben Spies jumped ahead of them both to claim his first pole in grand prix racing.

Despite missing out on pole by 0.23sec, Hayden was delighted to put himself in a competitive starting position for an event where he took his first, and so far only, Ducati podium one year ago.

"I finally got my first front row with Ducati - it only took a year and a half!" he smiled. "We're really happy for it though especially because it's so important for tomorrow's race.

"If I want to be running up front tomorrow I have to be there from the start and I told Juan [Martinez - Nicky's crew chief] before the session that we were due a front row and today was the day to get it.

"We found a decent setting on race tyres and when we put the soft compound in the jump was so big it felt like the kind of qualifying tyres we used to have.

"To have two American's on the front row is great for MotoGP in this country and for everybody who supports it over here. Hopefully it brings out a big crowd tomorrow and we'll do our best to put on a good show."

Team-mate Casey Stoner will start from directly behind Hayden after qualifying sixth fastest.

The Australian had been fastest in both practice sessions, but the 2007 world champion - who fell this morning - wasn't able to take advantage of the softer option tyre.

"I'm not very happy with this afternoon's qualifying session, we expected to be a little faster," he said.

"During the session we struggled to find the grip with the hard tyre so we spent a lot of time trying to fix it and unfortunately we tried a couple of different things and then when we switched immediately to soft tyres we had trouble with the setting and we didn't have a lot of feeling.

"I'm a little disappointed for sure, but confident enough for tomorrow. I think we should have a bit better race pace than some of the riders in front of us today."

Saturday marked only the second time that Hayden has out-qualified Stoner as a team-mate.


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