MotoGP 2012 – Round 11 – Indianapolis
— Pedrosa charges to second victory of season at Indianapolis
On a day where all three MotoGP™ classes took to the infamous Brickyard it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who recorded an emphatic premier-class victory at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in an eventful race ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
It was Pedrosa who got the holeshot, but it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who led the opening laps after overtaking the Spaniard early on. Yamaha’s Lorenzo, the only prototype rider to opt for the soft option rear tyre, had a less than ideal start, but was soon up into third, forcing his way past Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso. It was heartbreak early on for the Speed Master Team, as Mattia Pasini dropped his bike on the opening lap, escaping unscathed. Meanwhile, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, riding with a pain killing injection due to his fractured right ankle with torn ligaments, forced his way past San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista with a strong move. With 24 laps remaining Pedrosa made a move on Spies stick down the home straight to take the lead. A lap later, Stoner was a man on a mission as he also took LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl to go fifth.
It was misery for Spies with 22 laps left as the American’s engine blew down the straight, causing the oil flags to come out, with the Yamaha rider immediately pulling off the racing line. This affected the following group, as Stoner dropped back behind Dovizioso and Bradl. San Carlo’s Michele Pirro and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci were also robbed of any good luck as then had to retire with technical issues. Three laps later, Tech 3’s British rider Cal Crutchlow lost the front end of his bike in turn 4, unfortunately putting an end to his charge. In the meantime, Stoner had fought his way back past his group into third, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet had to pull in with a mechanical issue.
With 12 laps to go Pedrosa, who was on record breaking pace, had a big wobble, yet managed to stop himself running onto the grass. This did not stop the Spaniard however, and he soon rediscovered his rhythm. Five laps on, Dovizioso was all over the back of Stoner, who was fighting fearlessly with his injury, and took him for third.
In the end it was Pedrosa whose dominant performance resulted in his second win of the season ahead of Lorenzo and Dovizioso, taking his fifth podium this year. Lorenzo retains his championship lead, though it has been cut to 18 points by his Spanish rival. It was however Casey Stoner that arguably put in the best ride of the day, having gritted his teeth to finish a tremendous fourth despite injury. Bautista came in fifth, ahead of Bradl, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham. Top CRT wet to Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez in ninth, ahead of De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaró.
Race Result – Round 11
1 Dani Pedrosa 46’39.631 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Jorge Lorenzo +10.823 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Andrea Dovizioso +17.310 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
4 Casey Stoner +19.803 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
5 Alvaro Bautista +22.556 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
6 Stefan Bradl +30.072 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Valentino Rossi +57.614 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Karel Abraham +1’08.442 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
9 Yonny Hernandez +1’11.106 COL BQR-FTR BQR
10 Aleix Espargaro +1’14.079 ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
11 Toni Elías +1’26.305 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
12 Ivan Silva +1’40.274 SPA BQR-FTR BQR
13 Colin Edwards +1 lap USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
14 Steve Rapp +1 lap USA N/A Attack Performance
15 James Ellison +1 lap GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
16 Aaron Yates +1 lap USA N/A GP Tech
17 Cal Crutchlow DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
18 Randy De Puniet DNF FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
19 Ben Spies DNF USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
20 Michele Pirro DNF ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
21 Mattia Pasini DNF ITA ART Speed Master
22 Danilo Petrucci DNF ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
1 Jorge Lorenzo 225 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 207 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Casey Stoner 186 pts AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso 137 pts ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Cal Crutchlow 106 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Stefan Bradl 94 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Alvaro Bautista 92 pts SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
8 Valentino Rossi 91 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden 84 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Ben Spies 66 pts USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
11 Hector Barbera 60 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
12 Aleix Espargaro 39 pts ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Randy De Puniet 33 pts FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
14 Karel Abraham 18 pts CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Yonny Hernandez 17 pts COL BQR-FTR BQR
16 Michele Pirro 16 pts ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
17 Colin Edwards 14 pts USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
18 James Ellison 13 pts GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
19 Mattia Pasini 13 pts ITA ART Speed Master
20 Ivan Silva 11 pts SPA BQR-FTR BQR
At the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix it was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez who recorded a dominant win in the Moto2™ race in front of Pol Espargaró and Julian Simón to extend his championship lead.
Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone took the holeshot ahead of Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró and Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter. And it was Aegerter who was fastest in the early laps as he took and held the lead. Márquez, who did not have a good start made his way aggressively past Iannone and Espargaró in the first two laps to hunt down the Swiss rider, whom he overtook with 23 laps left down the home straight.
With 22 laps reaming, Espargaró, who had dropped down the order, went past Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón, as he looked to claw back space on Márquez at the front. Two laps later Iannone and Espargaró both went past Aegerter, who looked to be slowing, down the home straight. And it was the Spaniard who was soon finding the pace he displayed all weekend as he went past the Italian to take second. Simón took advantage of this to slip into third. On the same lap it was disappointment for QMMF Racing Team’s Elena Rosell, as she crashed out of the race. In the meantime, Iannone looked to be slowing, as he was also passed by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio and Aegerter. With 15 laps remaining S/Master Speed Up’s Alessandro Andreozzi crashed out of the race, though fortunately walked away unscathed.
With 11 laps left, Márquez had pulled out of gap of over six seconds, whilst Iannone had been handed down to tenth. Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi was however starting to find some form as he battled with Kallio for fourth. On the same lap, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Yuki Takahashi was forced to pit for a new front tyre. Four laps on, Tech 3 Racing’s Xavier Siméon slid into NGM’s Alex de Angelis, taking both out of the race. Six laps before the end, Aegerter’s teammate Roberto Rolfo also had his race ended with a tyre issue and pain in his recently operated knee.
In the final few laps, the Moto2 front runners had spread out significantly, with Márquez keeping his nerve after a faultless ride to extend his championship lead with an emphatic victory, ahead of Espargaró in second and Simón in third. Márquez now holds a 39-point over Espargaró in the championship, while Simón recorded his firs podium since Portugal 2011. Mika Kallio won the battle for fourth, ahead of Lüthi, Marc VDS’ Scott Redding, Aegerter, Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi, Iannone and Italtrans Racing Team’s Claudio Corti.
In a Moto3™ race with drama until the end at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix it was RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom who stormed to his first-ever victory ahead of Sandro Cortese and Jonas Folger, as Maverick Viñales crashed out in the final turn.
Red Bull KTM-Ajo’s Danny Kent, RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom and Kent’s teammate Sandro Cortese got off to the best start, leading the pack in the early bends. There was however a big crash early on as JHK Laglisse’s Adrian Martín took out TT Motion Events Racing’s Niklas Ajo, whilst Moto FGR’s Jasper Iwema was collected by San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Niccolò Antonelli. Ajo, who got back on track was black-flagged shortly after for “unsporting behaviour” after confronting Martín after the crash.
With 17 laps to go, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins and Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales were swapping positions in second place, as AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Malaysian Khairuddin tried to pull out a gap at the front. Whilst the scrap at the front was going on, Ambrogio Next Racing’s Alex Márquez crashed out of his first ever Moto3 race. JHK’s Efrén Vázquez, who was in the pursuing group behind the top three, slid off track with 12 laps to go, ending a frustrating weekend for the Spaniard. Salom’s teammate Brad Binder had retired with an engine problem, and with only seven laps remaining Technomag-CIP-TSR’s Alan Techer lost the front of his bike, putting an end to his race.
The last lap was a nail bighting affair with Cortese, Viñales and Salom swapping positions fiercely with fairings touching throughout. Yet it was Salom who judged it perfectly to take his first ever Grand Prix victory ahead of Cortese, while Viñales provided last minute drama by falling in the final turn, unable to get his bike re-started. Folger benefited from this to take his first win of the season on his first race with the Aspar team. This now gives Cortese a 29-point lead at the top of the championship. Rins’ teammate Oliveira was the first non-podium finisher in fourth, in front of Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati, Khairuddin, Rins, Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil, Andalucia JHK Laglisse’s Alberto Moncayo and Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou.
Folger’s teammate Hector Faubel was absent from the race due to injuries sustained in a crash yesterday, as was Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller, after breaking his left collarbone for the second time this season yesterday. Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb was another withdrawal, having fractured his right wrist in qualifying.
— HRC Report
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) stormed to his second victory of the season with a record-breaking win on a warm, sunny day at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode bravely with a heavily damaged right ankle, the legacy of a qualifying crash, to finish just off the podium in fourth. Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso were second and third, respectively.
Starting from a new pole position record, Pedrosa used the power of his Repsol Honda RC213V to take the lead from Yamaha rider Ben Spies on the third of 28 laps. Spies tried to stay with him, but was already losing ground when his engine expired in a puff of smoke down the straightaway.
That put his team-mate Lorenzo into second but at a margin of 2.293s. Lorenzo would never get much closer. Pedrosa was consistent throughout with something in reserve. He unleashed his full power on the 15th lap when he set a new race lap record, shattering the old mark by .8s.
Over the final 13 laps he continued to stretch his advantage, winning by 10.823s. It was the second largest MotoGP margin of victory to the 14.996s win he had recorded in the German Grand Prix.
It was Pedrosa’s first win from pole since the 2010 San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
By winning for the second time at IMS, with a new race record time that was 13s faster than last year’s race, Pedrosa took five points off championship leader Lorenzo. With seven races remaining, he has closed to within 18 points, 225 to 207. Stoner lost ground and now sits third at 189.
The reigning world champion was not certain he would ride until the morning. Saturday’s qualifying crash had caused multiple traumas to his right leg, including several small chipped bone fractures, a 10mm fracture on the talar dome below the tibia and fibula, contusions to the anterior tibia, posterior tibia and medial malleolus, and soft tissue swelling around the ankle. He also tore his deltoid, anterior talofibial, calcaneal and fibular ligaments in addition to a high ankle sprain. He could not walk without the aid of crutches.
Rather than getting involved in the early cut and thrust, Stoner allowed the field to sort itself out before making his push. He patiently made his way up the order, though his progress was interrupted when Ben Spies had a smoking engine failure on the front straight on lap six. Stoner had to make his way through the smoke on the fastest part of the course and lost touch with the leaders.
Once clear of the smoke, he went after Dovizioso, passing him for third on tenth lap. Stoner kept the Italian at bay for 12 laps, but the healthier rider would not be denied while Stoner struggled with his physical limitations. Dovi took back the final podium spot from Stoner on lap 22 and, while the Australian hounded him for a handful of laps, Dovizioso was able to break free.
Now Stoner has five days to recover before practice starts for next weekend’s Czech Grand Prix at Brno.
Much of the race was processional over the second half. Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V), who had been part of the battle for third, lost touch with those in front and pulled away from the rider just behind, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. When that happened, near the midpoint of the race, the two riders solidified their positions.
Bautista was happy to return to the feeling with the motorcycle that he had had before the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Fifth place was his second best finish of the season; he had been fourth at the British Grand Prix.
Bradl was expecting more after an encouraging performance in qualifying. That potential was not realised because he could not push out of the many slow corners on the track. Still, he gained ten points on the rider ahead of him in the championship while maintaining sixth in his rookie season.
Bautista’s teammate did not have much luck in his first visit to Indiana on a MotoGP machine. Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) retired early in the race with a swingarm problem. It was his fourth straight non-finish.
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Suter Marc Marquez gave a master class in the Moto2 race, setting a number of new lap records early on while pulling away to a commanding victory, his fifth of the season.
Marquez took the lead on the third of 26 laps, and with the exception of a lap mid-race, stretched his lead at will. By the end of the race he had pulled out a cushion of 5.855s.
The win helped him pull back some of the points he had lost finishing fifth in the previous round at Mugello. Marquez now has a lead of 39 points, 199 to 149, over Pol Espargaro (Pons HP 40 Tuenti – Kalex), the second place finisher.
Espargaro took over second on the eighth lap, by which time Marquez already had a gap of 3.321s. Other than the 11th lap, when Marquez was off pace and Espargaro took advantage, Espargaro could not make inroads. Instead he had to fend off Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter), who he pulled away from in the later stages. For Simon it was his first podium of the season.
Simon, in turn, had over 6s on Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex), the former MotoGP rider who had company from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock Suter) and Scott Redding, Kallio’s team-mate.
Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) arrived in Indianapolis tied for second in the championship with Espargaro, but an off day dropped him to ninth. He now trails Espargaro by 13 points and Marquez by 52.
The Moto3 race ended in tragedy for Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia FTR Honda), the young Spaniard who crashed in the final turn sequence while going for victory. Vinales had been in the thick of the fight for most of the race, while waiting until the end to make his grab for glory. But the he ran wide in the penultimate corner and onto a dirty section of the track, causing his tyres to wash out. Vinales could not re-start his motorcycle and scored no points.
The race was won by KTM rider Luis Salom, the Spaniard getting his first victory with Sandro Cortese (KTM) second and Jonas Folger (KTM) third.
Manuel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Suter Honda) narrowly missed out on the final podium spot by taking fourth; the gap was .127s. In his first visit to America, Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda) was a very close fifth, with Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins finishing seventh.
Cortese continues to lead the championship with 184 points to 155 for Vinales.
MotoGP Rider Quotes: Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: Race winner “I’m extremely happy with this win and I really want to congratulate the whole team for the great job they’ve done this weekend. The bike worked perfectly. It was difficult at the beginning of the race, because the pace was very strong from the start. I got past Ben Spies, but I kept calm because I knew I had the pace today to fight for the victory. When I took the lead, I put in some very strong laps to build up a gap and then I made a mistake in turn 2 going into neutral and Jorge (Lorenzo) reduced the gap by one second. But I was able to get back on my pace and ride comfortably to the end, where I think Jorge struggled a little with the soft rear tyre. We managed to take our second win of the season and every point is important. I want to also congratulate Casey (Stoner) for his result; he did a superb race in his condition and I am sure he will be strong again in Brno.”
Casey Stoner: Repsol Honda: 4th
“I’m definitely disappointed with how the weekend went. We had a strong start on Friday morning and then had a few issues Friday afternoon in FP2. We showed that we certainly had the pace for pole position and fight for the win, but unfortunately I had a huge crash in qualifying. The injuries I sustained from the crash made things very difficult for us and we lost precious track time to work on the set-up. This morning in warm-up I was just getting comfortable on the bike and trying to get a feel for everything rather than working on set up. The race was equally as difficult. We had a rough start and got pushed back some positions and had to fight our way back through. As soon as we did, unluckily Ben (Spies) had a bike failure and I found myself in the middle of the smoke, unsure where I was going and what I might hit and we lost positions again. At the end of the race it was almost impossible to maintain the pace. The painkillers I took to dull the pain gradually wore off at around the halfway point and, as I was compensating for my injury with the other side of my body, I simply had no energy left. It was frustrating to give up the podium position to Andrea (Dovizioso), but we did everything we could and at least I was able to ride and take some points.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 5th “This result is fruit of all the hard work the guys in the team have done this weekend to get the feeling back that we had before Mugello. I knew I could have a good race today and after making some positions up at the start I was able to run with the front guys for most of the race.
At the end (Andrea) Dovizioso and (Casey) Stoner were two or three tenths quicker than me, so I couldn’t follow them but I think this is a positive result for us, especially after a couple of difficult races for us. I hope this means we are on the right lines for the upcoming races but I want to thank everybody in the team for helping me to get my confidence and feel for the bike back, as well as all the sponsors and everybody who has kept faith in us.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th
“Honestly, it was not one of our best races so far and I am a bit disappointed because we looked stronger than this. Sixth position is not a disaster, but I was expecting a bit more considering the pace of our qualification yesterday. Unfortunately I was not able to push in the first gear corners and I was losing quite a lot in the acceleration areas. I tried to pull it back in section two and section three, which was possible in the begging, but not over the all race distance. At the end I had to accept that today we were not so strong but we are doing well and we still hold the sixth position in the world standing.”
Michele Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: DNF “I am really upset right now because this is our fourth retirement in a row. It is another technical setback and I am extremely disappointed by it.”
Moto2 Rider Quotes:
Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Suter: Race winner “Although it might not have seemed like it, that was a very difficult race. It is very hard to keep the same focus and pace throughout an entire weekend. I surprised myself, because my strategy was to conserve the tyres, but I decided to try to escape once I’d noticed that everyone had the same tactic. At the midway point I had built up a lead that allowed me to manage the race through to the end.”
Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex: 2nd “A second place with a slightly bitter taste, because I had been very fast in practice, also in my rhythm, and I have not been able to repeat it in the race. The tyre compound chosen has not gone as expected and finishing second, considering the chattering in both the front and back, is almost a miracle. I have not been comfortable at any time and when I placed second I realised that I could not catch (Marc) Marquez. Yesterday I lapped several times in 1m, 42s and the rest in 1m, 43s, and today there was no human way to go below 1m, 44. This is my fifth consecutive podium in Indianapolis, the sixth of ten races in 2012, and now I’m looking ahead and think that we can return to fight for the win in seven days in Brno.”
Julian Simon, Blusens Avintia – Suter: 3rd “I’m really happy to be on the podium. I start the second part of the season very good and this is my objective for the second part, to stay in this line, continue with this work. I changed something in the team and also in the bike and also congratulations today to the team, because it’s very important for me to recover the good sensation in the bike, because the first part of the season was very difficult. Also, last year was complicated after I broke my leg. So for me this podium is like a victory, so I’m really happy. Also congratulations to (Marc) Marquez and Po (Espargaro)l, because they were stronger here. And for Brno I hope to continue with this line and this work and I hope to stay also here.”
Moto3 Rider Quotes:
Manuel Oliveira, Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Suter Honda: 4th “It was a hard race. We knew we had the pace to be with the leaders and that’s how it was. Maybe the grid position didn’t help too much but we made up the places quickly. I knew that in the second half of the race the tyres would suffer and even though I made up more positions I couldn’t get to the front. We’ve started the second half of the season well though and I’m pleased with myself and for my team.”
Romano Fenati, Team Italia FMI – FTR Honda: 5th “Racing in Indianapolis was an emotional experience. At the start I got stuck in the middle of the pack, losing contact with the top three. The tyre choice helped me to climb back and post the fastest lap, but towards the end I had no grip left and didn’t want to take too many risks. We consolidated the fourth place in the championship, where we still lead among the rookies.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Suter Honda: 7th “It was a pretty action-packed race. In the first half I was part of the lead group and I saw that I definitely needed to start pushing. When I did, Khairruddin caught back up with me at the end of the start-finish straight, so I had to push the tyres a lot. That affected the second half of my race with all the wear to them. I wasn’t able to go any faster and obviously this affected me. Now we have to focus on the good points about the weekend and look ahead to the Czech Republic.”
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo was back on the podium today, taking second place in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The Championship leader had struggled all weekend to find an optimum set up, only making a step forward in yesterday’s qualifying session. Lorenzo, who was one of only two riders to take a gamble on the softer tyres for the race, dropped a couple of places from the start then worked to get behind his team mate Ben Spies in second. After the Texan’s unfortunate DNF he was promoted to second and began chasing down Pedrosa’s lead. Lacking the pace to stay with the leader he settled for second, taking 20 valuable Championship points.
Fellow Factory rider Spies was denied his chance to shine in front of his home crowd following an engine failure early in today’s race. After a strong weekend with impressive pace Spies made a superb start to today’s race, flying past pole man Dani Pedrosa to secure the lead on the second lap. Having then allowed Pedrosa past and tucked in behind disaster struck with an engine failure on lap six.
With no time to rest the team now head back across the Atlantic to Europe for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic in Brno next weekend. Lorenzo leaves Indianapolis leading the Championship by 18 points, Spies remains in tenth place with 66 points.
Jorge Lorenzo / Position : 2nd Time: +10.823 “We thought that the soft tyre could finish the race well so we took a risk with it. At the beginning it wasn’t so bad and I could follow Ben and Dani. Then Ben had his engine failure which was lucky for my position but I am so sorry for him. Dani was a little step forward today and had a tyre advantage in the end. Anyway, second was the best we could do today which is very good for the Championship.”
Ben Spies / Position : DNF Time: “Today was unfortunate again. We had a big crash yesterday and I honestly didn’t know if I could ride at 100% today. I got a lot of sleep and great physio from the clinic guys who did an amazing job. We got off to a good start and felt great, When Dani passed me I could see he was using the rear tyre more than I was so the plan was to let him get a maximum three seconds ahead and start reeling him back in at the end. As soon as he passed me the bike started to slow down, I wasn’t sure what was happening then all of a sudden it blew up so I tried to get off the line as quickly as possible. I’m disappointed not just for me but for the team, I think we definitely had second place and possibly the win.”
Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager “We’re very happy with this second place. It was a very difficult weekend for us, although Saturday qualifying was a big step forward. Second behind Dani was a great result and a good step to the next race. We hope we’ll struggle less on the Friday at Brno which should be a better track for us.”
Massimo Meregalli Team Director
“Another tough race, it’s difficult to find different words. We will investigate what has happened. From here to the end of the season we must start to have some good luck and I’m sure some good results will arrive for Ben. He has no need to show us anything we can see his speed and talent. We are looking forward to Brno where it could be a great circuit for him. Jorge made his usual intelligent race, he achieved 20 points which are crucial for the standings and he made no mistakes. He delivered the maximum that he could here.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso’s outstanding form in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship continued today, with the Italian collecting his fifth rostrum in seven races in baking hot conditions at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Starting from the front row of the grid for only the second time this season, Dovizioso made a fast start and slotted in behind Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa in third spot in the early exchanges.
As the race unfolded in front of a crowd of over 65.000 sun-drenched fans, Dovizioso became locked in an enthralling battle with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner.
Stoner grabbed third on lap 10 but a determined Dovizioso didn’t let the heroic Australian out of his sights and his relentless pressure finally paid off when he moved back into the top three on lap 22.
Dovizioso was able to streak away from Stoner to consolidate his status as the leading non-factory in the World Championship rankings after today’s race didn’t have the positive outcome that Cal Crutchlow was hoping for.
The British rider failed to score points for the first time in an impressive second season in the MotoGP class. Crutchlow looked on course to finish inside the top six for the ninth time in 11 races when he latched onto the back of a pack including Dovizioso, Stoner, Bradl and Bautista dicing for third before the halfway stage.
But just as the 26-year-old was sizing up an attack to move into the top six, he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine at Turn 4 on lap 10.
Andrea Dovizioso Position 3rd – Time: +17.310
“This podium is once again confirmation of our great work as a team and I am really proud of the support I get from all my crew in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. For us a podium is always like a victory and of course I’m really happy but I think we still can do better. But honestly I didn’t expect to be so strong at this track. Unfortunately I could not push as hard as I would have liked to at the beginning of the race, so I lost a bit of time and could not stay with the leading group. And afterwards when Ben broke the engine I did half of the straight trying to see through the smoke and I was not sure if there was oil on my tyres, so I lost some important tenths. Maybe the position could not have been better but for sure the gap would have been less to Dani and Jorge. I’m not completely satisfied because I wasn’t as consistent as I’d hoped, but to be on the podium is a great feeling and a good reward for all our hard work. I also want to pay tribute to Casey today because he delivered a brilliant performance. Physically he wasn’t in the best shape but it was still very hard to beat him. Now we got to Brno with a lot of confidence and I’m optimistic that the podium is a realistic target again.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF
“Unfortunately today was the first time this season I have not finished a race and not been inside the top 10, so it is pretty disappointing. I had exactly the same crash yesterday morning during free practice and I will hold my hands up and say it was a silly mistake. I can’t blame the track because it was on the part with the old asphalt. I opened the throttle and lost the front but that was an area we seemed to be struggling with the whole weekend. What is disappointing is that I had fought my way to the back of the group battling for the podium and I was confident with my pace. So to crash out is disappointing and I am sorry to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because we could have had another strong result. The big positive is I was 1.2s faster than last year on this track and at this level it is not a bad run to go 10 races in a row inside the top 10. I’ve got a chance to put things right in Brno next weekend and I will be doing my best to be challenging for a top result again.”
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“I am running out of superlatives to describe the job Andrea has been doing this season but another podium finish here in Indianapolis is a fantastic result. That is the fifth time in the last seven races that Andrea has been on the podium and this is way beyond our wildest dreams. Honestly I didn’t expect us to be on the podium here but Andrea and the whole Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did another incredible job. It was a tough race throughout and I have to say big respect to Casey because he showed too today why he is the current World Champion. Andrea had to push at his maximum to beat him but now we can go to Brno hoping that this brilliant run of form can continue. It’s really a pity that Cal crashed because he was looking very strong at the back of the group and waiting for the right moment to make his move. It was a small mistake but when you look how consistent and fast he has been in 2012, we can’t be too upset. I know Cal will be determined to bounce back quickly from this result and we will be giving him our 100% support to make sure that happens in Brno.”
Valentino Rossi had a difficult weekend at Indianapolis. In both the qualifying session and the race, he couldn’t manage to match his times from the cooler free-practice sessions, when he lapped at the pace of the second group.
Affected by the lack of grip that occurred just a few laps after the start, the Italian concluded the race a lonely seventh.
Nicky Hayden, after a qualifying crash in which he suffered a hard blow to the head and two small fractures to the second and third metacarpals of his right hand, had to watch the race from the garage. The American then returned home to nearby Kentucky, where in the course of the next two days he will decide whether or not to take part in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
“It was a very complicated weekend. We expected it a little bit because last year was also challenging, but there were also some positive signs these two days. In the morning practice sessions and also in today’s warm-up, I was able to ride a bit better, with a pace of around 1:40.5. In the race though, with the higher temperatures of the afternoon, the rear tyre started to slide a lot after just a few laps. The harder I tried to push, the more it slid, so I actually went slower. I tried to stay with the others but I closed the front twice, and I nearly crashed. At that point, I decided to make it to the finish without making mistakes. I’m pleased that we go directly to Brno next week because it’s a track that I like a lot and last year we had a decent race. Then we’ll also have a test where we’ll try to take a good step forward with the bike because there are only seven rounds until the end and we have to do some better races.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) DNS
“To miss any race is tough, but to miss my home GP is extremely difficult. Still, I realize that I had a pretty big one yesterday and was knocked out for quite a while, so to be here today more or less okay is positive. There’s no really big damage, although injuries to the right hand are always worse than the left. Even if I thought I could have ridden today, the doctors wouldn’t have cleared me because I was knocked out for so long. Concussions need to be taken seriously, so I don’t fault them for that. It was really difficult watching the race. It would have been tough today, but we were improving through the weekend, and I had a pretty decent pace. That’s how it goes sometimes. I’ll try to get healthy and come back as soon as possible.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“After just a few laps today, it became very difficult for Valentino to ride. He tried to overcome the problems but couldn’t manage it, and at that point he decided to take home seventh-place points. We’ll try to do better at Brno. Over the next couple of days, we’ll also know whether or not Nicky will be able to be there. He has two small fractures in his right hand, so he’ll undergo some additional exams to check whether it will be possible to ride or if it’s better to skip the Czech Republic and recover for Misano. Anyway, we’ll go there with the bikes and the full team.”
Round 11: Indianapolis Grand Prix – Race
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday 19 August 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 45-48°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa completed a dominant weekend on the Repsol Honda RC213V by scoring his second win of the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to edge closer to rival Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP™ championship standings.
Starting from pole position on the combination of the harder slick options front and rear, Pedrosa lost out in the early stages of the race before working his way to the front where he established a fast pace – setting a new record fastest lap of 1’39.088 along the way – that would ultimately see him finish the race 10.823 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Yamaha Factory Racing star Lorenzo scored a valuable twenty points for his championship bid by taking second place ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Andrea Dovizioso, who crossed the line in third place for the fifth time this season. Avintia Blusens rider Yonny Hernandez rode an impressive race to be the first CRT rider across the finish line in ninth place, the result catapulting the Columbian four places up the championship table.
Track temperatures were slightly lower for the race compared to yesterday’s qualifying session, with a peak of 48°C towards the end of the race but generally track conditions were very similar to those experienced in the other afternoon sessions. The abrasive tarmac of the Indianapolis circuit resulted in every rider opting for the harder front slick option, while rear tyre choice was split between the harder rear slick for the works bikes and softer rear slicks for the CRT bikes with a couple of exceptions; Jorge Lorenzo and Pramac Racing’s Toni Elias on works bikes opted for the softer rear slick, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards and Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp were the two CRT riders that selected the harder rear slick for the race.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Though conditions were slightly cooler today, it was still quite warm and today’s race proved to be a real challenge for the riders, motorcycles and tyres, so congratulations to Dani and Repsol Honda for their win today and their impressive showing over the whole race weekend. Casey’s performance to finish in fourth place with his injured ankle was also very impressive and I would like to extend my best wishes to Casey, Hector and Nicky and I hope they make swift and full recoveries from their injuries. Our team now heads to Brno where we will support both the Czech Republic Grand Prix as well as the post-race test on Monday.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Weather and track conditions for today’s race were similar to yesterday and so tyre choice was largely reflected by what we saw in yesterday’s race simulations. Almost every rider on the more powerful works machines selected the harder rear slick, while the majority of the CRT bikes selected the softer rear slick for its slight advantage in edge grip. Overall our tyre allocation for this race worked well at a circuit that is quite punishing on tyres, with the special construction rear tyres we supplied performing well in the extreme conditions, while our revised compound selection provided riders with good options for the race with a new pole position record and race lap record being set, while the race time was thirteen seconds faster than last year. This was a positive outcome at a circuit that is one of the most gruelling environments for race tyres.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race winner
“It’s been a good weekend for me and for the race the bike was working well though we were sliding all the way around the track, although the bike did have a good feeling. I had good pace today, but it was a tough race and I had to work hard to keep my concentration, but thanks to my team and everyone around me for helping me get this win.”