A man that is not adverse to making jaws drop through dazzling performances on two wheels, three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo was taken aback by countryman Fernando Alonso's qualifying performance for the Indy 500.

In his first qualifying session around the famous Indianapolis Speedway, Alonso placed a sensational fifth for the Andretti McLaren team, despite a distinct lack of IndyCar and oval experience, ahead of Sunday's illustrious race.

Having met Alonso, and observed his career since making his Formula1 debut for Minardi in 2001, Lorenzo praised his fellow Spaniard's talent, concentration and bravery, all of which should stand him in good stead for the weekend's events.

"It's impressive that Fernando, without any experience, fought for pole position and finished fifth in the qualifying," Lorenzo said at the Circuit of Catalunya on Wednesday, having completed a two-day test for his Ducati MotoGP team.

"He's a very ambitious sportsman. His adaptation and the talent that he has is impressive.

"I think also the bravery that he has got to compete in this category without any experience is so high because this category is so dangerous, with so much speed. You cannot make any mistakes.

"I'm sure that if a driver can make a good result without any experience, it's Fernando because he's so cold. He has a lot of concentration. He has a good talent for everything.

"I wish him luck because it's not easy but it's interesting to see which position he's going to finish in the race."

By Neil Morrison