-- MotoGP 2013 - Round Ten - Indianapolis
The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix got underway today as a star-studded press conference saw proceedings kick-off at the infamous Brickyard. Repsol Honda Team’s championship leading rookie Marc Marquez was joined by teammate Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, as well as Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies, who makes his long-awaited return from injury.
Crutchlow, whose switch to the Ducati Team for 2014 was announced during the summer break, was the centre of attention for the gathered press. He commented: ““After Laguna we decided that we were going to stay in America and take a break here, but it wasn’t too much of a break. We had a busy first week and then we obviously released that I’ll be riding for Ducati next year. Really pleased and it was nice to get that done, we can settle for the rest of the year now and see how that goes. Yes there are pros and cons for everything. The most difficult thing was making the phone call to Herve. It was quite an emotional phone call. It was a difficult decision to make but I am pleased to secure my future.”
When pushed by the floor as to why he switched to a bike that has proven difficult in the last few years, the Brit joked: “I like the colour!”
Championship leader Marquez’s focus is solely on continuing along the same level as he has in his first part of the year: “Now we start the second half and we have recharged our batteries over the summer. We are back; step-by-step we will recover the feeling with the bike and try to keep up the same level. It will be difficult and interesting because Dani and Jorge have recovered. It’s one of the tracks I seem to ride quite well so I hope to do the same with the MotoGP bike.”
Pedrosa, who broke a collarbone in a crash in Germany, is on his way to recovery: “I have been doing some recovery these days. Basically it was all about not moving a lot and staying quiet. The healing process is getting better and over these last days we have seen some signs of the bones recovering so that is good. Now I’m just waiting to go out, checking how everything is on the bike.”
Lorenzo, also healing from his broken collarbone, had his holiday interrupted by a Yamaha test in Brno on the seemless gearbox, which the team will not yet use this weekend: “Obviously I’m not like I was before Assen, but much better than Laguna. I have spent the holiday trying to recover the collarbone, so let’s see how it goes. Yes, the holiday was stopped by the test! But I think it’s important to see how I was on the bike, as I wasn’t great at Laguna, so it was very important for the mind to feel how I am with the bike.”
Teammate Rossi feels the team benefitted from the test: “Yes, we did the test and it was important to stay on the bike a bit. We had some important stuff to try and it was a positive test. Maybe tomorrow we will now be more ready. Yes, we tried the new gearbox at Brno and the feeling was very, very good. We like it a lot. But, you know, it’s still a lot of work to do and I still don’t think it’s ready to use, but we will use it as soon as possible.”
Bradl, fresh from his first-ever MotoGP podium in Laguna Seca, is keen to build on that success, especially as today it was confirmed he will stay with the team for 2014: “I can say that I will continue with LCR next year, with good support from HRC which is most important. It’s good for me and good for the team. I’m very happy with that. It is also good news for the second half of this season, going at the best speed we can from tomorrow and just trying to do the best job possible.”
Ben Spies, who has not been on a bike since his attempt to return at Mugello this year, is looking forward to getting back out on track: “Yeah it’s been a rough yeah to say the least. Now I feel good to finally be back and maybe not take your job as a commentator [to commentator Nick Harris]! Now it’s more that I can get on the bike and ride and not tell the little white lies to all of the journalists that I’m ready to ride! Now we can get on with the business and start the season properly. The last time was Mugello, so we have a lot of cobwebs to dust off. As Marquez says: step by step! It’s a good track to come back to, we have good memories here. We’ll just try to get faster with each session and see where we can end up over the next couple of weeks.”
Indianapolis, known for its raft of events before and during the race weekend, also staged the Bridgestone Golf Performance Challenge, where Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, GO&FUN Gresini duo Alvaro Bautista and Bryan Staring, Kenny Roberts Sr, Randy Mamola and Indycar race-winner Graham Rahal squared off against each other at the Brickyard Crossings Golf Course – another distinctly unique feature of the famous US circuit.
-- Team Previews
-- Yamaha Preview
As the MotoGP summer break comes to an end, Yamaha Factory Racing heads back across the Atlantic to the USA for the third American round of the season this weekend, the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The break has been a short one for the Team with an early return to work for a private test at the Brno circuit last week. The test was a successful one with another step being made in the set up of the YZR-M1 that should help both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as they challenge the remainder of the season.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix is a relative newcomer to the MotoGP calendar with the first race in 2008. Both Lorenzo and Rossi can claim one premier class victory each at the US circuit, Rossi’s in 2008 and Lorenzo’s one year later in 2009. With the exception of a fourth place finish in 2011, reigning World Champion Lorenzo has always finished on the podium. The Mallorcan has been training hard but is still not expected to be at 100% fitness for the weekend.
Jorge Lorenzo - “We are returning to the USA and beginning the second half of the year, which may be the toughest. I was able to rest for some days after Laguna Seca and then we went to Brno to make a private test with Yamaha. Those two days gave me an opportunity to check my physical condition. I’m a bit tired, especially because after two crashes in Assen and Sachsenring I couldn’t recover so much and now we have to manage a long period with three races in a row. I feel better obviously than in Laguna but still need time to recover to 100% and it is not going to be easy because the calendar is so busy and also we have to fight not to lose points. In any case, we go to Indy to give everything despite the circumstances.”
Valentino Rossi - "I have great memories of Indianapolis and I'm happy to be back there on my M1, although that's not one of my favorite tracks. I needed these holidays to recharge my batteries, even if we had two days of testing right in the middle. Indianapolis will be the first one of three consecutive races and it will be very important to do good results everywhere. My Team and I still have much work to do on the M1 therefore they will be three very demanding weeks but we feel ready for the challenge.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager - “We were able to enjoy a little break but not so much because we did a mini test at Brno to check some issues. The test was not so bad, first because both riders were happy with the results and secondly, from our side, Jorge did a good job. The first day he struggled a bit to find the rhythm but on the second day he improved a lot and was able to get the pace. This test was really important for Jorge to check his fitness after a tough month where he had managed two serious injuries in the collarbone with two surgeries in ten days. Jorge has got more confidence after the test and now we travel back to the USA with positive feelings. The track is not one of Yamaha’s favourites but we hope all the work we made in either Motorland and Brno will be useful to fight in the second part of the season.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director - “I think we are going to Indy in a good shape. After the test in Brno we made another improvement with the base set up which was very positive. In the past we have suffered at Indy but I think this year is going to be different. Both riders made a good test so we are really optimistic. Jorge is not 100% but he is feeling much better now so he can compete with the others in a good shape. We are really looking forward to getting on track on Friday and starting the first practice.”
-- HRC Preview
The 2013 World Championship season begins again in the imposing surroundings of Indianapolis’s famous “Brickyard” on Sunday, with Team Repsol Honda riders leading the way out of the three-weekend summer break and into an intense spell of racing.
“Indy” is the first of three races on consecutive weekends, taking the GP circus from the USA to the Czech Republic and then over the sea once more to Great Britain.
The first half of the season was rich in drama. The ninth of 18 scheduled races brought a third win for sensational class rookie Marc Marquez at Laguna Seca, California, on July 21. The 20-year-old Repsol Honda RC213V rider further extended his points lead over older team-mate Dani Pedrosa to 16, as his still-injured fellow-Spaniard gritted his teeth for a courageous fifth, after missing the previous race in Germany with a broken collarbone.
The pair are ahead of a third Spanish rival, defending champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who has also suffered with injury problems in the last three races. He is ten points adrift of Pedrosa.
When business resumes at Indy, all three will have everything to play for, after a chance to recover from injuries and recharge their batteries.
Championship leader Marquez has hit the headlines in his maiden season in the premier class. He arrived having added a Moto2 World Championship to his earlier 125cc crown, and won the second race of the season at the new COTA circuit at Austin, Texas, after breaking the record for the youngest rider to take pole position. The win was also a youth record, and he is also the youngest rider in history to lead the championship.
Since then Marquez has been on the rostrum at every race except the Italian GP, where he crashed out of second place, culminating in successive wins in Germany and the United States. With two more pole positions his success and exciting riding style have won him an army of new fans.
Marquez has won at Indianapolis in the Moto2 class for the past two years, after making his debut with sixth on a 125 in 2008.
Older team-mate Pedrosa has also had a spell leading the points table after winning at Jerez and Le Mans, backed up by consistent top three slots at other races. The 27-year-old suffered a cruel reversal of fortunes however at the German GP, when a low-speed accident early in practice caused disproportionately severe problems. His left collarbone was fractured, and he was ruled out of the race with further short-lived complications.
Less than a week later, Pedrosa was back in the saddle at the intensely physical Laguna Seca circuit. Sitting out morning practice sessions to preserve his strength, he produced a powerful performance in the race, with a valuable fifth place. Days later, further medical tests determined that what had been thought only a partial fracture was in fact a complete break. After more than three weeks recovery, Pedrosa is determined to regain lost ground.
He will be looking for a third win at the Indiana circuit, and a second in succession, after taking victory from pole position last year. He won also in 2010, and finished second in 2011. Pedrosa was on pole also for the inaugural Brickyard race in 2008, but finished eighth in extraordinary conditions, with the race cut short as hurricane-force winds and rain hit the stadium.
German LCR Honda RC213V rider Stefan Bradl returns to action fresh from his best-yet race in MotoGP. The 2011 Moto2 World Champion is in his second season, and at the last round at Laguna Seca he claimed his first pole position, led the race until beyond half distance, and finished a jubilant second. The 23-year-old was sixth at Indianapolis last year, but now has his sights firmly set on more podium finishes.
Spanish racer Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) raced to fifth last year at Indy, and is also fresh from his best finish of the season – fourth at the US GP. The former 125cc World Champion has bounced back from two consecutive first-lap crashes earlier in the season, and climbing back up the result sheets over the past three races. Bautista is the only factory MotoGP rider to use Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, pioneering development of the Japanese components.
Team-mate Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) is a grand prix rookie, and an Indianapolis first-timer. The Australian gained his first points at round six in Catalunya, riding the CBR1000RR-powered CRT bike, gaining experience and claiming his place in the CRT pack even as he learns the intricacies of circuits he has never seen before.
The all-Honda Moto2 class is back from an even longer break because only MotoGP raced at Laguna Seca. The championship is in a state of high tension, as early leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) battles to preserve a dwindling points lead. The British rider, fresh off two wins, led by 43 points after round five at Mugello; but Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) had closed it down to just 20 after round eight in Germany, adding two more to his first-race of the season victory at Qatar.
All Moto2 machines are powered by identical race-prepared Honda CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers. While this guarantees close and reliable racing, with all on equal footing in terms of horsepower, Redding and Espargaro had risen clear of the pack by mid-season, winning five of eight races between them. This left single wins for Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter), Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Aspar Team Moto2 Suter).
Rabat had been in a challenging position earlier, but is now 55 points behind the leader, and in danger of being relegated by Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter), just five points behinds.
In Moto3 Honda riders, using either factory or independent chassis, are up against rivals from KTM and Mahindra in the entry-level class, where a horde of eager young talent jostles for position in reliably thrilling races.
In Germany, Australian Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) took over at the head of the Honda charge with a third successive seventh place. Three Honda riders are within five points of one another in a battle for seventh overall. Miller’s growing strength and a spectacular riding style have been a feature of the season so far.
South African Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda) is just one point behind Miller. Each is in his second year in the 250cc four-stroke class that last year replaced the traditional 125cc two-strokes.
The next best is the experienced French rider Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda). Masbou had been ahead of both, but lost seventh overall when a technical issue meant he did not start the German GP.
The imposing Indianapolis Motor Speedway (the first circuit in the world to bear the name) is the largest sporting facility in the world, where the twisty 2.6-mile infield circuit used for MotoGP is dwarfed by the massive 2.5-mile banked oval track, with grandstands capable of holding more than a quarter of a million fans. The infield track was added for a short-lived involvement with Formula 1 in 1998; and in 2008 MotoGP arrived, on a modified version of the circuit run in the opposite direction, one of a handful of anti-clockwise tracks on the calendar.
The first race was hit by the effects of the devastating Hurricane Ike, causing the premier race to be cut short and the 250cc race cancelled.
Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez says: “After a good break, where I’ve managed to relax a little and also do some training, I’m looking forward to getting back on track. It’s been good to have this time off to think about my first few months in MotoGP and reflect on my performances and what I’ve learnt but now I’m ready to get back on the bike. I like the Indianapolis track and I’m interested to see how the grip is on the Bridgestone tyres because it seems this has been an issue in the past. As usual, we will take our time in FP1 and try to find our feeling on the bike at this track and also after this summer break, and hope for a good weekend!”
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says: “The three weeks to disconnect have done me a lot of good. I preferred not to go away, and took time to relax and recover from the huge effort at Laguna Seca. I now feel much better, however we will only know for sure at Indianapolis. Until now a little of everything has happened in the first half of the season. The next three races will start to define where the championship is heading. I’m looking forward to seeing the team again and getting back on the bike. Indy is a circuit where we do quite well, but it has its difficulties: there are three types of asphalt, and that makes set-up complicated, especially if it rains. We’ll have to wait and see what the weather has in store for us.”
GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista says: “I feel sure that we are in our best form of the season so far after a good result at Laguna Seca. We were competitive there and in terms of my feeling with the bike over the course of the weekend it was probably the best I have ever had in MotoGP. Thanks to the hard work of the team we had a great bike that I was able to really enjoy riding and even though we had the chance to finish on the podium at the end I was still very happy with the result. After Laguna Seca we were able to get a few days off and I took the opportunity to head for the beach with some friends and switch my mind off racing. After a few days I got back into training hard for the second half of the championship and spent a few days at my friend Colin Edwards’s boot camp, and had great fun riding with him and working on my riding. Now I am ready and looking forward to three races in as many weekends. Indianapolis is a strange circuit and it’s different to most of the places we go to because amongst other things it runs anticlockwise. There are three different kinds of track surface and that also makes it hard but we fought for the podium there last year and after such a good weekend at Laguna last time out I am hoping for better this year. Me and the team are feeling very confident that we can fight for a top result.”
LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl says: “I was so happy with my first podium when I was second at Laguna, but of course you are always wanting more, and that is my aim for this weekend. My results at the last race show that we have got away from our problems with front feeling earlier in the season, and I feel more confident at every race. To tell the truth, I would have preferred to keep racing rather than have a summer break! Last year at Indy was my first on a MotoGP bike. I qualified on the second row of the grid and finished fifth, so I think the circuit is quite good for my style. I am aiming to stand on the top-three podium for a second time in America.”
GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Bryan Staring says: “I was quite happy after Laguna Seca, which went better than we expected. Overall it was a good weekend for us, especially after coming off the back of a disastrous German Grand Prix. Now I am convinced we can take another step forward at Indy. It looks like a strange track but I am curious to see it for myself and I am certainly highly motivated. The break was definitely a welcome one and it was a good chance to recharge the batteries. I spent a bit of time in the USA after Laguna Seca with my girlfriend Emma, which was great fun. Now I am ready to get back on track and have a good second half to the championship. I am determined to take another big step forward and I am sure that with the help of my team I can do it.”
Moto2 Rider Quotes
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Scott Redding says: “After a few weeks off I’m looking forward to getting back to work this weekend in Indianapolis. The summer break has been all about bikes – mountain bikes, motocross bikes and a few days at the Colin Edwards boot camp in Texas – but now it’s back to the Moto2 bike to get the second half of the season underway. I’m feeling fresh, relaxed and the track has been good to me in the past, so we’ll see how we go. We need to be back at the top of our game, like we were at the beginning of the year, and get the second half of the season off to a flying start with a good result this weekend in Indianapolis.”
Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex rider Pol Espargaro says: “I like Indy a lot – I’ve been on podium every year there in last four years, including my first 125 win in 2009 and my first Moto2 podium in 2011. I don’t know why I like the track, but it was more difficult last year because they had changed the asphalt and it was more difficult to do a good job. I always feel quite comfortable there, so we will try and recover more points.”
Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex rider Esteve Rabat says: “After crashing at the Sachsenring in practice I injured my left ankle, and the race was really hard. It cost me a lot of points. After four weeks break I’m feeling much better, and I want to make up for it at Indy – to reduce the gap between me and Pol and Scott, or to help Pol get closer to Scott. Indianapolis is a difficult track with the different surfaces and I didn’t have a great time there last year, but this year everything has been different, and I’m hoping for a good race.”
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
Caretta Technology – RTG rider Jack Miller says: “We’re top Honda and that’s good, so we will keep our heads up going into Indy. I like the track a lot, though it’s pretty slippery and you have to deal with a lot of slides. It’s got a long start-finish, with a low-gear corner before, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Ambrogio Racing rider Brad Binder says: “It will be difficult because there’s a couple of long straights there and you come onto them in low gear. I like the track and I’d really like to pop the top ten again. I know my team have been working really hard in the break to get the bike perfect. I want to end the year in the top ten.”
Ongetta-Rivacold rider Alexis Masbou says: “Indy will be better than Germany, because I don’t like the track there. I feel pretty good on the bike but we need to improve the suspension a little because I don’t feel fully comfortable. Indy is a special track – quite small and tight and with not so much grip. Normally we should get a good result there, it will be okay if we are in the top ten.
-- Ducati Preview
With the MotoGP teams and riders having enjoyed a well-deserved summer break, the 2013 season is set to embark on its second half, which kicks off in the same country where the first half finished: the USA, this time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event will mark MotoGP’s third and final visit this year to American soil, and it will also be the first leg of a tripleheader, as trips to the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom follow in short order.
Indiana’s capital city enjoys mythical status in the motorsports world, due in large part to its annual hosting of the legendary Indianapolis 500 auto race. Since 2008, the massive facility has welcomed MotoGP to its unique road race track, which comprises a portion of the car circuit’s oval along with an infield section.
The Indianapolis GP is an important race for Nicky Hayden, whose home is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive south in Owensboro, Kentucky. Hayden, who celebrated his 32nd birthday during the summer pause, earned his first podium with Ducati at Indy in 2009, one year after finishing runner-up at the track aboard a Honda. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso finished third at the Indianapolis round last season, and he hopes to have a solid showing there in this, his debut season with the Ducati Team.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team - “The Indianapolis track is a bit strange, with asphalt that changes from corner to corner, and it’s difficult for all of the riders. In fact, there were a lot of crashes there last year. I’m not sure how it will be with the Ducati, not having ridden it there. I’ve never had good luck there in the past, although I did make the podium last year.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team - “It was nice to get rested up for a couple weeks, but I’m looking forward to the second half of the season, which I hope will bring us some better results than the first half did. I’ll be happy to be back in the garage with my bike and my team. I don’t have to tell anyone how special Indy is to me, as that should be pretty obvious with it being my true home race. The support I had from the Laguna crowd was incredible, and I’m expecting nothing less at Indy. I think the track might be a little better for us than the last couple were. It’s a tricky little circuit with a couple of technical corners. We’ll try to come out of the gate strong on Friday, have a solid weekend, and have some fun.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager - “After three straight races that took place on tracks with very short straightaways, we return to a fast circuit. For Nicky, the Indy track is really his home race, and we know that he wants to do well, but Andrea is also very motivated because he wants to redeem himself after his race at Laguna. This is a very important tripleheader, and it will take place on three real tracks—Indianapolis, Brno, and Silverstone—so at this point in the season, it will be important for us to be able to do well.”
-- Bridgestone Preview
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
The third and final MotoGP™ round to be held in the United States this year takes place at the historic Indianapolis Motorspeedway; a circuit steeped in history that was introduced to the calendar in 2008.
The Indianapolis MotoGP course is 4.216 kilometres in length and incorporates three different elements which give it a unique flavour among the championship’s venues. The track incorporates part of the famous oval course, an infield section that was used when Formula 1 raced here, and also a short stretch of tarmac that was created for MotoGP. Overall, the circuit is tight and twisty which places an emphasis for good rear grip for accelerating out of the many slow corners.
The circuit runs in a counter-clockwise direction and there are ten left-hand turns compared to six right-hand turns, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder are supplied at Indianapolis. The final section of the circuit through turns twelve to fourteen is a sequence of fast left-handers which generate very high rear tyre temperatures. To manage this extreme demand on the rear tyres, all rear slick options for this race are in Bridgestone’s heat-resistant construction.
Front slick compounds for Indianapolis are the soft and hard compounds. The soft compound offers greater edge grip on a track surface that can be quite slippery in places, while the hard compound option is designed for use when ambient and track temperatures reach high levels, which is a common occurrence at this circuit. The main wet tyre for Indianapolis is the soft compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department - “After the paddock enjoyed its Summer break, it is great to get the second half of the MotoGP season underway this weekend at such an iconic venue as the Indianapolis MotorSpeedway. The championship is delicately poised and with three back-to-back races coming up, the next few weeks will be a major factor in deciding who will be this year’s MotoGP World Champion. Despite the lack of racing in the past few weeks, it has been a busy time for Bridgestone as after our latest success at the Suzuka 8hours a couple of weeks ago, we have been supporting MotoGP tests both in Japan and Europe. At Indianapolis we will also be holding our second Bridgestone Golf Performance Challenge with MotoGP riders, IndyCar drivers and other racing personalities taking part in the event which will help raise funds for Riders for Health, so there will be a lot happening both on and off the track.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Indianapolis is comprised of three distinct parts, with an opening section that was designed specifically for MotoGP, the infield section that was used when Formula One raced here, while another part takes in the famous oval course. This characteristic creates different grip levels across the circuit, though a recent resurfacing of the track has taken place to try and make the tarmac more consistent. The layout of the circuit puts greater stress on the left shoulder of the tyres and in particular the section from turns twelve to fourteen generates very high temperatures on the left shoulder of the rear tyre. For this reason we supply asymmetric rear slick with harder rubber on the left shoulder to manage the character of this circuit. The rear slicks for Indianapolis are also in our heat-resistant construction to help manage the high tyre temperatures.”
-- Marc VDS
After a four-week summer break, the Moto2 Championship battle kicks off once again this weekend, with Scott Redding and Mika Kallio both determined to start the second half of the season with a strong showing at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Redding heads to the world famous Brickyard with a 23 point advantage over Pol Espargaro in the Moto2 Championship standings; a lead he is keen to extend this weekend at a track he counts as one of his favourites after securing his first intermediate class podium at Indianapolis three years ago.
Fourth at Indianapolis 12 months ago, Kallio heads to Indiana this time around with his sights set firmly on the podium. The 30-year-old Finn currently lies fifth in the Moto2 Championship, but with just seven points separating him from Esteve Rabat in third, a good result this weekend could see Kallio leapfrog both Rabat and Dominique Aegerter in the standings.
Livio Loi returns to action in the Moto3 class this weekend and the 16-year-old Belgian is determined to increase his points tally during the second half of the season. Loi scored a point in his debut at Jerez earlier this year, but set up issues have hampered his progress since. Indianapolis is a new track for Loi, but he's been learning his way around the circuit using the latest MotoGP '13 game on the PlayStation, playing as himself of course!
With more than 250,000 seats in the grandstands the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the biggest permanent sporting arena in the world, but the circuit has been criticised in the past for the bumpy and patchy nature of the MotoGP track, which runs inside the world famous oval. The track underwent extensive resurfacing work almost three years ago, but the variation in tarmac means that grip remains unpredictable.
Scott Redding #45:
"After a few weeks off I'm looking forward to getting back to work this weekend in Indianapolis. The summer break has been all about bikes - mountain bikes, motocross bikes and a few days at the Colin Edwards Bootcamp in Texas - but now it's back to the Moto2 bike to get the second half of the season underway. I'm feeling fresh, relaxed and the track has been good to me in the past, so we'll see how we go. We need to be back at the top of our game, like we were at the beginning of the year, and get the second half of the season off to a flying start with a good result this weekend in Indianapolis."
Mika Kallio #36:
"I dropped a place in the championship because of the rear tyre problems in Sachsenring but the gap to third is still small and a good result this weekend would allow me to close the gap to, or maybe even pass, Rabat in the standings. I'm not a big fan of the Indianapolis track, partly because of the layout, but mainly because there are so many different types of tarmac and the amount of grip changes from corner to corner, which makes things difficult. The track can also be hard on tyres, which makes the selection for the race critical. Despite this, I was fourth in Indy last year and I hope I can improve on that this time around."
Livio Loi #11:
"I want to be more consistent during the second half of the season, picking up more points in the remaining races. It will be difficult this weekend in Indianapolis, as it's my first time at the track. I've spent some time during the summer break on the PlayStation, so I know the layout, but there's still a lot for me to learn once I actually get to the circuit. If we can make another step forward with the bike and all goes well in practice and qualifying, then I think it will still be possible to finish in the points on Sunday."
-- Previously......MotoGP 2013 - Round Nine - Laguna Seca
-- Marquez takes impressive win on Laguna Seca debut
Marc Marquez has won Sunday’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, becoming the youngest ever back-to-back race winner in MotoGP™. The Repsol Honda Team rider extended his championship lead while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl celebrated a first premier-class podium finish from pole position. Valentino Rossi held off Alvaro Bautista for the final rostrum spot.
On Saturday, Bradl had stormed to a maiden pole position while Marquez suffered a crash in qualifying. On Sunday, the Spaniard patiently followed the German before pulling off a clean manoeuvre at the end of the 19th lap. Five riders failed to make the distance at the notoriously difficult anti-clockwise circuit, the shortest on the calendar.
Marquez’s third victory of the year equals the sum of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Repsol Honda rider sank as low as fourth after a poor start, but stayed ahead of Bautista in the early stages and crucially pulled off a confident pass on Rossi at the world-famous Corkscrew corner. He soon homed in on Bradl, overtaking the German and winning by 2.2 seconds. In doing so, Marquez wins for the second time within the space of a week and steals former double champion Freddie Spencer’s record of being the youngest MotoGP™ rider to triumph in consecutive Grand Prix. Furthermore, he makes history by becoming the first rookie rider to win at Laguna Seca.
Bradl’s ride to second was one of calm and composure. A clean getaway allowed the LCR Honda MotoGP rider to head the field from his first ever pole in the top class. The 2011 Moto2™ World Champion was assisted by the fact that those behind him were battling early in the race, but by the 17th tour had the recovering Marquez only two tenths of a second behind. Once the overtake had occurred two laps later, Bradl comfortably managed a two-second gap back to Rossi to clinch his maiden premier class podium, improving on his previous best of fourth – achieved on three occasions.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Rossi has now taken the chequered flag inside the top three for as many races in a row. The Italian, who had famously overtaken Casey Stoner at the Corkscrew five years ago, was this time passed in the same place by Marquez before holding off a significant attack from Bautista over the closing laps; the Spaniard briefly edged ahead before the final corner, but was kept behind. Another third place for Rossi sees him jump ahead of Cal Crutchlow for fourth in the standings.
Laguna Seca had always promised to be a weekend of damage limitation for both Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Both men continue to suffer with left collarbone injuries as they finished fifth and sixth, with Pedrosa having moved ahead of his rival in an overtake at the Andretti Hairpin. The duo both finished in front of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow, who on Saturday had been left confused by a crash before taking part in Q2 with his second bike.
The top ten was completed by Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso – who during the race made side-to-side contact on the start/finish straight – and Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, who became the first rider other than Aleix Espargaro to lead the CRT runners in 2013. Espargaro crashed at the last corner, while Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet retired with technical problems. Tech 3’s Bradley Smith also stopped with mechanical gremlins, while the first two retirements were PBM’s Michael Laverty and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti. In 11th place, Ignite Pramac Racing’s Alex de Angelis scored while covering for the injured Ben Spies, while Colin Edwards finished 12th for Forward Racing. The top 15 was completed by Danilo Petrucci (Came IodaRacing Project), Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) and Yonny Hernandez (PBM).
With the first half of the season now complete, MotoGP™ heads into its summer break before returning at Indianapolis in mid-August. Marquez carries a 16-point advantage over teammate Pedrosa and has finished on the podium in eight of his first nine races since joined the premier class as reigning Moto2™ World Champion.
-- MotoGP™ Race Classification
1 Marc Marquez 44'00.695 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Stefan Bradl +2.298 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
3 Valentino Rossi +4.498 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Alvaro Bautista +4.557 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
5 Dani Pedrosa +9.257 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Jorge Lorenzo +12.970 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
7 Cal Crutchlow +15.304 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Nicky Hayden +33.963 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Andrea Dovizioso +34.129 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Hector Barbera +1'02.369 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
11 Alex De Angelis +1'02.604 RSM DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
12 Colin Edwards +1'03.593 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
13 Danilo Petrucci +1'20.450 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
14 Karel Abraham +1 lap CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Yonny Hernandez +1 lap COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
16 Hiroshi Aoyama +1 lap JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
17 Bryan Staring +1 lap AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
18 Lukas Pesek +1 lap CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
19 Bradley Smith DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
20 Aleix Espargaro DNF SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
21 Randy De Puniet DNF FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
22 Claudio Corti DNF ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
23 Michael Laverty DNF GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
-- Championship standings
1 Marc Marquez 163 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 147 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 137 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Valentino Rossi 117 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Cal Crutchlow 116 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Stefan Bradl 84 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Andrea Dovizioso 81 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Alvaro Bautista 71 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Nicky Hayden 65 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Aleix Espargaro 52 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Bradley Smith 51 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
12 Michele Pirro 36 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 24 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Hector Barbera 24 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Randy De Puniet 19 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
16 Danilo Petrucci 18 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
17 Colin Edwards 17 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
18 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Yonny Hernandez 7 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
20 Alex De Angelis 5 pts RSM DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
21 Claudio Corti 5 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
22 Karel Abraham 5 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
24 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
25 Javier Del Amor 1 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
26 Hiroshi Aoyama 1 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
28 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
29 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance
-- HRC Report
Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez continued his record-breaking maiden MotoGP season with a second successive race win in today’s US GP. It is the 20-year-old’s third win in nine races, and extends his points lead in the World Championship. He now leads team-mate Dani Pedrosa by 16 points.
For Honda, it was the third win in succession at the charismatic Californian circuit, and the sixth in nine visits in the current series of the race.
Honda secured second place as well, with a fine first podium finish for Stefan Bradl, Marquez’s old Moto2 rival and fellow former Moto2 champion. The German LCR Honda RC213V rider had started from his first pole position, and led to beyond the halfway point of the 32-lap race.
Third Honda rider Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) missed making it an all-Honda rostrum by less than a tenth of a second, hounding former Laguna winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) over the finish line.
It was a heroic afternoon for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V). Riding with a partial collarbone fracture, he finished a strong fifth, claiming valuable points to preserve his second place in the championship at the mid-point of the season. The plucky ride stretched his lead over third-placed Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) to ten points.
The race, round the shortest circuit of the year, had both tension and drama for 46,000 spectators, enjoying perfect Californian sunshine at the track in the hills inland from fashionable Monterey.
Bradl made a perfect start to lead the first 18 laps. In the early stages he secured a margin of almost two seconds, but after four laps Marquez was through to second, and gradually closed up.
The German was eventually obliged to give best after his rival demonstrated better edge-grip in the sinuous Californian circuit’s many turns, but continued lapping at close to record pace to claim his first rostrum, and a career-best second place.
Marquez showed little sign that he was still learning the intricacies of the complex and physically gruelling short circuit. He seized second from Rossi on the fourth lap with a forceful passing move at the famous Corkscrew corner, replicating one of the Italian champion’s own famous attacks. Thereafter he concentrated on catching and following Bradl, before seizing his moment for a clean overtake and the chance to open a gap still better than 2.2 seconds as he coasted across the line.
Bautista was disappointed that his sustained efforts to pass Rossi for his own first rostrum this year were thwarted, but pleased with his best result so far, demonstrating how the exclusive Showa suspension test rider is regaining strength after two first-lap crashes earlier this season.
Pedrosa demonstrated grit and skill in equal measure in a weekend of endurance. Still suffering a partial fracture to his left collarbone sustained in a crash that ruled him out of last weekend’s German GP, the Spaniard sat out the morning practice sessions and started from the third row of the grid. Through the race however he gained speed, and eventually outpaced third placed title rival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who was riding with his own collarbone injury.
Grand prix rookie Bryan Staring (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) finished 17th, his hopes of adding to his points score thwarted in the later laps. Series first-timer Staring rides in the CRT category, his machine powered by a race-tuned CBR1000RR motor.
The US GP marks the end of the first half of the 2013 season, followed by the summer break of three weekends. Racing resumes in the United States on August 16-18 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis GP, third round of the year in the USA. This is followed by a rapid return to Europe with races in the Czech Republic and Great Britain over the following two weekends.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st
“I am very happy, because we weren’t expecting this result from our first visit to Laguna Seca. I didn’t think I would adapt so easily to such a tricky circuit, but from the first day of practice I felt very comfortable and quickly found the best lines. Today I was a little cautious at the start, because with a full tank it is easy to make a mistake, but when the tyres got up to temperature I was able to maintain the pace from practice. I overtook Valentino in a similar spot to where he passed Casey in 2008, although the passes were a little different because his was more spectacular! Later I was able to pass Stefan after studying him for a number of laps, and then I tried to build a gap in order to win the race by a comfortable margin.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 2nd
“It’s a great result for us. We did a good job all across the weekend. Of course expectations were high after I had pole yesterday, but I knew I had good speed and that I could be fast from the beginning. I tried to push from the start and I think I did that very well. I struggled a little bit. I thought the race speed would be a little quicker but, with the full tank of fuel, I had a few problems with the front. When he caught me I saw that he had some more edge grip on the tyre and that he was able to open up a gap. I just tried to manage the gap to Valentino (Rossi), which was not easy, and it was a long and tough race.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team FUN&GO Honda Gresini: 4th
“I was so close to the podium! I would really like to have been up there but we have to be happy with this result and especially for the way we achieved it. Obviously you can’t get much closer than 0.059 seconds but the most important thing about today was that we showed we have taken a massive step forward and hopefully we can continue in the same way at the next race. This result gives us confidence after a less than positive period and it’s a nice boost for the rest of the season. I am also happy for the team, who have been working so hard and really deserved to celebrate a result like this today.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 5th, 1’21.728
“First of all, I want to thank everyone who has supported me over these past few days. This was a race in which it was very important to take points. I was seriously considering sitting out this race, because the conditions were very difficult, so I am very happy to have taken fifth. We were close to the podium, but on the final laps I found things very hard. I think that I held up well in the race, although I was in a lot of pain the entire weekend. At least I was able to grip the handlebars and control the bike. A lot of times moving the bike makes it tough for you and it is difficult to ride a long race. In the end, the 11 points are very important for the championship.”
Bryan Staring, Team FUN&GO Honda Gresini: 17th
“I am happy because today went better than recent races. I set a fast pace in the first half of the race and I was fighting for a points position but after not being able to train recently because of my foot injury I started to really struggle from a physical perspective later in the race. We have taken steps forward here though and that will help us in the coming races.”
-- Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi delivered his third consecutive podium of the 2013 MotoGP season today with third place in the US Grand Prix. The Italian made a strong start from fourth on the grid to take second into turn one, tucking in behind race leader Stefan Bradl. The nine-time world champion fought hard to maintain his pace but was forced to concede second to Marc Marquez on lap four following a dramatic overtake into the Corkscrew turn. With fourth place rider Alvaro Bautista closing Rossi then worked hard to hold off the Spaniard to retain his third place and podium finish.
Jorge Lorenzo successfully completed his weekend of damage limitation with an exhausting ride to sixth place. Still physically compromised following his two surgeries to his collarbone the Laguna race proved to be a big challenge for the world champion. Starting from sixth on the grid he initially made up two places to fourth, diving inside Dani Pedrosa on turn one for position. The race became a war of attrition for Lorenzo, battling to stay focused for the 32lap stint, eventually bringing it home in sixth place after a testing ride.
The podium finish leaves Rossi on 117 points in the standings in fourth position, 20points behind teammate Lorenzo. Lorenzo holds on to third place, now on 137 points, ten behind Pedrosa in second. The teams now take an extended break before returning to the USA for Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday 18th August.
Valentino Rossi 3rd - “At this track with the Yamaha we suffer a little more than the Hondas, but we worked very well in the practice, we tried everything and I could keep a good pace in the race until the end, not far from Bradl. I fought with Bautista but always stayed in front so I could take the third podium in a row. I am quite competitive and I am happy, it is a good result. Now we take some rest, we go on holiday and we try to take some rest for the second half of the season. Regarding the pass, I tried to resist but today wasn't the right day, Marc was too strong for me. Before the end of the season we will have another battle where I will be faster and I will give back the overtake for sure!”
Jorge Lorenzo 6th - “This was a difficult race because I am not in shape, one month or more without training and two general anaesthetics. I felt quite dizzy from the middle of the race to the end so my performance was getting worse. The bike was also not working the same as in warm up. Maybe with more temperature the tyres were working differently and I couldn't stop the same in the braking zones so I didn't have the same feeling and I was half a second slower. The important thing is that we saved a very dangerous situation because if I crashed again I might have finished my championship. We have one month to rest and train now to get back in shape which will be important for Indianapolis. I hope to be in almost perfect condition there and have the same performance as before the crash.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager - “A very crazy race, to do this with so few days recovery after twice breaking your collarbone is very inhuman. This is one of the most physical race tracks in the world. He clearly struggled in the race but he found a rhythm to not throw away too much energy in the beginning and try to keep a decent pace. It was a little bit up and a little bit down at times. Of course the result is great, we lose some points to Marc and Dani but this race was about damage control. We need to come back very strong for the last nine races.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Overall a good weekend. We put a lot of effort in to find a best set up. Laguna is not the most suitable circuit for Yamaha. To get a podium with Vale is an important step for us. We have improved the bike which is very good for the coming races. Jorge I think proved again that he is really tough and determined. He could manage to finish sixth even with a lot of pain after his surgeries. I think we can leave here satisfied that we have done the best job possible in the circumstances.”
-- Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Extra-soft (Symmetric), Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 20-19°C; Track 50-50°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued his history-making rookie season by becoming the youngest ever rider to score back-to-back premier-class wins at today’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Starting second on the grid, Marquez had to fight his way past the two riders he ended up sharing the podium with - LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi – to take the race lead on lap nineteen and power away to win the race by 2.298 seconds. Bradl took second place for this first ever MotoGP™ podium, while Rossi’s third place was his third successive podium. Avintia Blusens rider Hector Barbera scored his best result of the season, his tenth place making him the highest-placed CRT rider this weekend.
The morning fog dissipated quicker than usual today at Laguna Seca and the long periods of sunshine resulted in the highest track temperatures seen this weekend with a peak of 50°C. Despite the high temperatures the softer rear slick was the popular choice, with all but three riders selecting the softest rear slick available to them. The high temperatures also placed less emphasis on the need for warm-up performance, so all riders selected the harder front slick option for the race.
At the halfway point of the season Marquez’s lead in the championship standings over teammate Dani Pedrosa is sixteen points, while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo remains in third place and a further ten points back.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department - “Once again today we witnessed history being made as Marc became the youngest ever rider to score back-to-back wins in MotoGP so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on a job well done. I would also like to congratulate Stefan on his first ever MotoGP podium and seeing two young riders battling for victory is a great sign for the future of this championship. Dani and Jorge should also be commended for such strong performances today while riding with injury. The first half of the season has certainly had many memorable moments and although everyone in the paddock now gets to enjoy a well-deserved summer break, we are all looking forward to the next round at Indianapolis in a few weeks’ time with a great sense of anticipation.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department - “Track temperatures today were at their highest level of the whole race weekend today and this did have an effect on which front tyre the riders chose. Earlier in the day it seemed some riders might look at using the softer front slick, but once track temperatures climbed over fifty degrees centigrade, warm-up performance wasn’t such a big priority so all riders decided to use the harder front slick option. Rear tyre choice among the works riders was identical with all preferring the softer rear slick, while all but three CRT riders also preferred the softer option. Even with the high track temperatures tyre performance was consistent with grip levels degrading predictably over race distance, so I am happy with how our tyres worked today.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner - “This race was what I expected although coming here for the first time I thought I might struggle more but from FP1 I felt good, although it takes time to learn where the bumps are on the track. Today’s race was good, but at the beginning I was a bit scared as with all the bumps it was possible to lose the front. I managed to get past Valentino and then stayed behind Stefan for some laps before passing him too and I’m very happy because at a new circuit I got twenty five points and it’s good to go into the summer break with this performance.”
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