Pedrosa becomes first two-time MotoGP winner at Indy, closes on Lorenzo in points
MotoGP RACE REPORT: RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP
Pedrosa becomes first two-time MotoGP winner at Indy, closes on Lorenzo in points
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012 - Dani Pedrosa became the first MotoGP rider to win the Red Bull Indianapolis GP twice and turned up the heat on World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo with a dominant victory Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Pedrosa beat fellow Spaniard Lorenzo to the line by 10.823 seconds on his Repsol Honda. It was the second victory of the season for Pedrosa, who also won this event in 2010.
The victory helped Pedrosa close to within 18 points of Lorenzo with seven races remaining.
"It was difficult at the beginning of the race because the pace was very strong from the start," Pedrosa said. "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 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 tire. We managed to take our second win of the season, and every point is important.
Andrea Dovizioso finished third on a Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner produced a superb performance to finish fourth on his Repsol Honda after suffering fractures in his right ankle and lower right leg, and torn ligaments in his right ankle in a huge crash Saturday.
Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top five on his San Carlo Honda Gresini bike.
American Ben Spies rocketed to the lead on the first lap from the fourth starting position on his Yamaha Factory Racing machine. Pedrosa and Spies swapped the lead on the third and fourth laps of the 28-lap race, with Pedrosa keeping the top spot for good on Lap 4.
Spies was running a comfortable second when white smoke began to stream from his exhaust pipes just as he crossed the Yard of Bricks start-finish line to start Lap 7. Spies pulled off track, out of the race.
It was a day of highs and lows for the other American riders.
Colin Edwards finished 13th on his NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter-BMW. Steve Rapp, 40, scored two points by finishing 14th on the Attack Performance APR machine. It was the MotoGP debut for American Motorcyclist Association veteran Rapp and Attack Performance, based in California.
Aaron Yates finished a solid 16th on his GPTech BCL fielded by Michigan-based GPTech, just missing scoring a point. It was the MotoGP debut for AMA veteran Yates and GPTech and Yates' MotoGP debut and his first race since suffering severe leg injuries in a crash in March 2010.
American Nicky Hayden did not race on his Ducati after suffering a concussion and two broken metacarpal bones in his right hand in a huge crash Saturday.
In the other World Championship races, Marc Marquez of Spain expanded his points lead with a commanding victory on his Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Suter-Honda in the Moto2 race.
Luis Salom of Spain earned his first Grand Prix victory with a thrilling, last-lap victory in the Moto3 race. Salom climbed from third to the lead by diving his RW Racing GP Kalex-KTM under Sandro Cortese and Maverick Vinales in Turn 10 on the final lap. He held on over the last six turns of the 16-turn, 2.621-mile IMS circuit to beat Cortese by .056 of a second.
Jonas Folger finished third after Vinales fell out of the race in the second-to-last turn. He was unhurt.
Tyler O'Hara won the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race Sunday after PJ Jacobsen fell out of the lead on Lap 4 of the 10-lap race. Kyle Wyman finished second.
Wyman won the first XR1200 race Saturday when Jacobsen fell out of the lead on Lap 5, triggering a four-bike pileup that forced AMA officials to red-flag and then end the race with no further competition.
The next MotoGP World Championship race is the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic on Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Brno Circuit.
PODIUM FINISHER QUOTES
DANI PEDROSA (Winner, Repsol Honda Team): "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 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 tire. 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."
JORGE LORENZO (Second, Yamaha Factory Racing): "We thought that the soft tire 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 tire advantage in the end. Anyway, second was the best we could do today, which is very good for the championship."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (Third, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Racing): "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 afterward, 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 tires, 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 (Stoner) 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."
AMERICAN RIDER QUOTES
COLIN EDWARDS (13th, NGM Mobile Forward Racing): "I thought I had a good start, but I found it kind of bottle-necked up into Turn 2. There were just incidents here and there through the race, in the end a few guys crashed, and after that I just tried to get into a rhythm, get into a pace. Then I saw someone in front of me and thought could hang on to him, but then Spies broke the engine and I saw a big smoke. I didn't know what to do because I couldn't really see, and then once I passed the smoke, just picked up the pace again. Ivan (Silva) was in front of me. He caught up with me when the smoke came out and I tried to stay with him, but he didn't make any mistakes."
STEVE RAPP (14th, Attack Performance APR): "I said after qualifying that I thought I could beat some of the guys in front of me. That was our goal, and we accomplished our goal. It was our first MotoGP, and we scored a point. The bike was amazingly good all weekend. I can't think Richard (owner Richard Stamboli) and the guys enough. We improved the bike every second, every session. I was completely happy with the bike, and I got a decent start and ran with some of the guys who have been racing all year. I learned a little bit, picked up a few things and just ran to the end. I wanted to run with the guys the whole race, but I dropped off maybe seven or eight laps into it, and from then on, I was on my own the rest of the race. At that point, it was actually easier for me because I could just concentrate on what I was doing, riding my own pace, trying to be smooth and doing the best I could. It's just more self-satisfaction than anything. As a racer, everything happens is based on who you are racing and who you beat. If you race and beat nobody, you're really not that good. You have to ride with guys who are good and beat them."
AARON YATES (16th, GPTech BCL): "I wish we could have been a little more competitive, but we did what we could with what we had to work with. Everybody's happy. We finished the race, and we were 16th - that's better than where we started. I had a good start. I ran up in there, but a lot of guys were getting a little crazy, so I gave them a lot of room and sat back and watched. The start of the race was the first time I've ridden a bike with a full load of fuel. Man, it did make a difference. I ran into the corner and couldn't get the bike to slow down or get it to turn. The bike was already overweight, and adding all that weight (fuel) at the top of the tank really made it tough. I got to going quicker halfway through the race in a steady pace. We had a comfortable race. We made it to the end, and that's what this was all about. This is pretty big for the team, especially the way this team came together. This is just a group of guys following one fellow's idea to progress up and do MotoGP."
BEN SPIES (Not classified, Yamaha Factory Racing): "Today was unfortunate again. We had a big crash yesterday, and I honestly didn't know if I could ride at 100 percent 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 tire 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."
NICKY HAYDEN (Did not race, Ducati Team): "To miss any race is not fun. But to miss my home race is just bull. Especially after we had worked this weekend and improved the bike a bit. It's tough. The main thing is I'm more or less OK. A broken hand and a pretty severe concussion's not OK, but that was a pretty big one, a little bit scary. I'm happy to be able to at least come in here today and support the race and see things."
Riders: Jorge Lorenzo 225, Dani Pedrosa 207, Casey Stoner 186, Andrea Dovizioso 137, Cal Crutchlow 106, Stefan Bradl 94, Alvaro Bautista 92, Valentino Rossi 91, Nicky Hayden 84, Ben Spies 66, Hector Barbera 60, Aleix Espargaro 39, Randy de Puniet 33, Karel Abraham 18, Yonny Hernandez 17, Michele Pirro 16, Colin Edwards 14, Mattia Pasini 13, James Ellison 13, Ivan Silva 11, Danilo Petrucci 9, Toni Elias 5, Steve Rapp 2.
Manufacturers: Honda 246, Yamaha 241, Ducati 115, ART 54, BQR 20, FTR 16, Suter 14, Ioda 9, APR 2, BQR-FTR 2.
MotoGP SUPPORT CLASS WINNERS
Moto2: Marc Marquez, Spain, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Suter-Honda
Moto3: Luis Salom, Spain, RW Racing GP Kalex-KTM
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200: Kyle Wyman (Race 1), Tyler O'Hara (Race 2)
President of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Inc. Worked with Mike Hollander since Tapsis, Compuserve, etc. and has posted to the website since the beginning. First Female photo-journalist to be given a garage and pit pass for the NASCAR garage, 1972 at Ontario Motor Speedway. One of first seven female writers, photographers given access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and pits in 1971. Past President of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, 1992-96, and first female editor of the 8-Ball publication for the Press Club