Indy MotoGP: Ben Spies can win, says Jorge Lorenzo

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Jorge Lorenzo reckons Ben Spies can become the first non-factory rider to win a MotoGP race since Toni Elias triumphed at Estoril back in 2006.

The Texan produced a brilliant display in Indianapolis to claim his first premier class pole position, a lap of 1.40.105 in the final two minutes comfortably beating Spaniard Lorenzo by 0.220s.

Spies became the first satellite team rider to claim pole position since Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards topped qualifying in China back in 2008.

And dominant world championship leader Lorenzo has backed the reigning World Superbike champion to pose a serious threat in tomorrow’s 28-lap race.

Lorenzo is bidding for an eighth win in 11 races from second on the grid having preserved his impressive front row starting record in 2010.

The 23-year-old hasn’t qualified off the front row yet and he’s yet to finish lower than second in a race.

But he said: “Ben was very fast with the soft tyre and I think he can be fighting for the victory. Now he's getting closer to the top guys and he made two very quick laps, so he deserves it, and I think if he can keep his level, he can fight for the win.

"But I think I can fight for the win also. I’m quite happy, not really satisfied but I think my race pace can be good.

"I obviously I pushed the maximum to get the pole position, but Ben's lap was quite quick for these conditions and I only could make second place today.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt