250cc World Championship leader Marco Simoncelli took his fourth pole position of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.

The Italian was made to fight for the place during a dry quarter-litre qualifying session, waiting until the final moments to put in his unmatched 1min 46.168secs.

The man with whom Simoncelli has had his fair share of on-track duels, Team Toth?s Hector Barbera, will be alongside the Metis Gilera rider on the front row for Sunday's race. Barbera finished less than a tenth ahead of KTM's title contender Mika Kallio and Lotus Aprilia's Alex Debon.

The first two rows feature some of the big names of the 250cc class, with Red Bull KTM?s Hiroshi Aoyama, Misano race winner Alvaro Bautista and rookie stars Mattia Pasini and Hector Faubel set to feature in the battle for the holeshot from just behind the front four. Bautista and Pasini both suffered light crashes when trying to better their times.

Bigger falls were suffered by Emmi-Caffe Latte?s Thomas Luthi and Blusens Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty ruling them both out of the grand prix.

Former 125cc World Champion Luthi suffered a concussion and thumb injury in a nasty morning fall, whilst Laverty picked up small bones fractures to both feet in a similar highside. Laverty insists he will be fit to take up his Yamaha WSS seat at Vallelunga on September 21.

Final qualifying - Indianapolis:

1. Simoncelli (Gilera) 1min 45.168secs
2. Barbera (Aprilia) +0.369secs
3. Kallio (KTM) +0.395secs
4. Debon (Aprilia) +0.443secs
5. Aoyama (KTM) +0.682secs
6. Bautista (Aprilia) +1.006secs
7. Pasini (Aprilia) +1.154secs
8. Faubel (Aprilia) +1.192secs
9. Pesek (Aprilia) +1.202secs
10. Simon (KTM) +1.519secs

22. Laverty (Aprilia) +5.929secs


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