It’s a Spectacular Race Day – Sunday Update

Randy de Puniet of Pramac Racing Team flies off his Ducati during yesterday's qualifying. He suffered a cracked vertebrae and hip, but is expected to race today.

The pursuit for the MotoGP World Championship title resumes today as riders take the green flag at 2 p.m. PST for the start of the Red Bull United States Grand Prix. More than 200 million viewers worldwide are expected to tune in for Round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship.

The hills were filled yesterday with fans soaking up the sun as they watched defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha Factory Racing set the fastest lap of 1’21.202 to take pole position. Lorenzo was a bit sore after walking away from a spectacular crash where he was tossed in the air during the morning practice session.

“This pole position was unexpected for us after this morning, but thankfully I feel more pain walking than I do riding the bike,” said Lorenzo. “Of course I’m not in perfect condition on the bike and for sure I have to put more pressure on my arms and will get more tired. I think I was very lucky this morning that I had no big injuries. I think this pole position is for us an impressive result.”

The chase for the championship can certainly tighten as Lorenzo is a mere 15 points behind current points leader Casey Stoner who is riding for Repsol Honda Team. Stoner starts in second just ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in third. Last year at the Red Bull United States Grand Prix Lorenzo finished just ahead of Stoner to take the win.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies was the top American rider qualifying in fourth, followed by Nicky Hayden on his Ducati in ninth, Colin Edwards riding a Yamaha in 11th and Ben Bostrom, in his MotoGP debut, on a Honda in 18th.

The Yamaha Marketplace was in constant action with fans flooding the massive exhibit space. After the racing concluded, a capacity crowd stayed for the Yamaha Fan Party with Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards and legends Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts and Wayne Rainey. Later, fans stayed to jam with The Dirty Heads on the GE Capital stage.

For those unfortunate fans who are unable to attend today’s race, be sure to tune in to SPEED TV at 2 p.m. for live race coverage.