These just in from sunny Indianapolis:
Repsol Honda MotoGP
Magnificent Marquez completes a perfect weekend with teammate Pedrosa in 2nd
Respol Honda's Marc Marquez has crowned a perfect weekend in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP with a sensational victory. Marc led every session over the weekend, broke the pole position record yesterday and also recorded a new fastest race lap of 1'39.044. Marc's teammate Dani Pedrosa, took an impressive second place after battling with title rival Jorge Lorenzo in the final laps.
Marc suffered from a poor start and dropped back from pole to 3rd position by the first corner, with Dani in front of him in 2nd and Lorenzo taking the lead. The three Spanish riders held these positions, racing within tenths of second from each other, for the first nine laps. Then Championship leader Marc made his move and passed Dani. A few laps later, Marc had closed the gap on Lorenzo and on lap thirteen he passed him and slowly began to open a gap as he began to set fastest race laps, taking a new record on lap 18.
In the final laps, Dani found a final burst of energy and launched an attack on Lorenzo. With just two laps remaining, Dani passed Lorenzo to seize second place and complete a perfect weekend for the Repsol Honda Team. It was an inspiring ride from Dani who is still recovering from the injury sustained in Sachsenring just over a month ago.
The last eight MotoGP races in the USA have now been won by Honda riders and Marc becomes the first rider to take three MotoGP wins in the USA in a single season, having already won at both Austin and Laguna Seca. He's the third rider of all-time to win three premier-class GP races in the same country in a single season (Jorge Lorenzo in 2010 - Jerez, Catalunya & Valencia, and Casey Stoner in 2011 - Catalunya, Aragon, Valencia, in both cases the three wins were from four races held in Spain). Marc is also the first rookie in the premier-class to win three back-to-back races since Kenny Roberts in 1978, who won in Austria, France and Mugello.
Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 188 points
"I am very happy to have taken another 25 points! I knew before we came here that this would be a good opportunity and I was able to take advantage of it. I felt very good throughout the weekend, and I think this has been my best GP overall since coming into the premier class. I was first in every session, so I couldn't ask for more. In the race I decided to follow Lorenzo and Pedrosa, trying to save my tyres at the start. When I saw that I was feeling good and had less fuel in the tank, I tried to attack. In the end I was able to break away and have some fun sliding the bike around and enjoying how good the ride was! Now we head back to Europe, where we will try to continue working in the same way and see how many points we can pick up"
Dani Pedrosa 2nd Championship Standing: 2nd - 167 points
"Today I gave all I had. I struggled to keep my energy up and I was forced to ride in a different way because of the pain I was suffering. It was a difficult race, because I was fighting a lot against the bike but in the end I was able to keep up my pace and take a good second place! In other conditions I'm sure we would have done better, but we did all that we could under the circumstances today and should draw that positive from the day"
Lorenzo Takes Third in Indianapolis Thriller
Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo marked his return to fitness today with third in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, his fifth premier class podium finish at the US track. He impressed with a stunning start from second on the grid, out dragging both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to take the hole-shot into turn one. Lorenzo immediately built a half second gap and managed to hold the lead on a track not best suited to the Yamaha until Marquez squeezed past with 15 laps to go. Marques was not allowed to break away and Lorenzo kept with him until fatigue set in as the race wound down and he was forced to relinquish second to Pedrosa with three laps remaining.
This important podium whilst still recovering from surgery allows Lorenzo to now return to European tracks favoured by the YZR-M1 in full fitness and just 15 points behind Pedrosa in third on 153 points.
Teammate Valentino Rossi's race proved to be the opposite of Lorenzo's. The Italian nine-time world champion spent the early part of the race fighting with a less than perfect set up as he made up ground from his ninth position start on the grid. Nicky Hayden was dispatched on the second lap for eighth and fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Smith would follow. With just six laps remaining it was clear Rossi had saved the best for last, hunting down Alvaro Bautista and Cal Crutchlow who were fighting for fourth. Rossi joined the battle, swapping positions repeatedly until a stunning pass on the second to last corner of the last lap saw him steal fourth from Crutchlow and hold it to the line.
The result keeps Rossi in fourth in the overall standings with 130 points, three clear of Crutchlow in fourth. Rossi and the team will now head directly to Brno for the second of three consecutive back-to-back races.
Jorge Lorenzo 3rd
"I made a very good start and I had half a second advantage in the beginning of the race. I had a lot of hope because I knew I had a good pace but suddenly in the middle of the race Marc started to go faster and faster so it was impossible to win. I'm disappointed to not finish second, because in normal conditions without the drop in rear tyre this would have been possible. I'm happy to be back on the podium at a track that's not normally a good one for us. I don't feel perfect, I feel more tired than normal because I haven't trained so much in the last two months because of the injuries. I felt tired at the end of the race and had some pain in the braking areas but I feel much better and in Brno and Silverstone I will be ok. I think from this moment we can only be better and better."
Valentino Rossi 4th
"At the end the race was not so bad, especially compared with yesterday and especially the second half. I could ride the bike in a good way and I could enjoy it. I did a very good lap time in the second half and had great battles with Bradl and Bautista, but especially with Cal on the last lap, that was very funny. Fourth place here is good considering this track is one of the worst for me and considering I started from ninth I am quite happy. We still have to work and understand why in the first laps I can't ride the bike and use the extra grip of the tyre. In the second part when the tyre slides I can enter the corner faster, I can go faster and I can make good lap times so we have to improve because the first three riders are very strong."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"The Indianapolis race is finished and we have to be pleased with third. We hoped for second place because I think that was our pace but finally the tyre dropped a lot on the end so we have to investigate what happened exactly. Anyway, to be back after injuries and be fighting again with Marc and Dani for victory is great, the first 20 laps especially looked very good. Jorge was riding well and the bike behaved quite good. I think the guys all did a good job so we just have to investigate the tyre drop. We had the same last year, we lost ten seconds on Dani and this year five or six seconds in total on the race winner. We are improving at Indy, maybe next year we can win here."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"Even if we knew since the beginning that Indianapolis was going to be a tough race for us I have to congratulate the team as they have done a fantastic job. We led for part of the race, Jorge had a really good rhythm and he was able to get an important podium. For the Championship that was the target and the main goal. Also Valentino, even if he couldn't find the right set up, got the right balance of the bike and when the tyre dropped he made an impressive come back. Third and fourth is a good result here and now we go back to some circuits in Europe where we can change the direction of the Championship in our favour."
Crutchlow fifth after late drama in Indianapolis
Tech 3 Yamaha
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow ended an intriguing Indianapolis MotoGP race in fifth position this afternoon, the British rider playing a leading role in one of the most intense battles in the 27-lap clash.
Engaged in a frenetic fight for the majority of the race with Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, the tussle for fourth position became a three-way battle, with nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi riding into contention with a brilliant late attack. All three treated a crowd of just over 60,000 fans to some breathless action, with the trio constantly exchanging overtakes before the exciting battle came right down to the final corner. Crutchlow had produced an outstanding final lap to keep Rossi and Bautista at bay and fourth position seemed to have been secured behind dominant Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. After 44 minutes of nail-biting action though there was still time for one final dramatic twist, with Rossi executing a last ditch overtake at the final corner to push Crutchlow back into fifth. Less than 0.2s split Rossi, Crutchlow and Bautista at the finish line and the crowd were on their feet to show their appreciation at witnessing such a fierce but fair fight.
Bradley Smith secured his seventh top 10 finish of the season, the British rider's race starting and finishing in tremendously exciting fashion. Smith got a stunning launch off the line and on the first lap he held fourth place before he slipped back into a fight with Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden for eighth. The 22-year-old exerted constant pressure on his more experienced counterparts and his determination and hard work was rewarded when Hayden and Dovizioso ran off track at the final corner. Smith pounced on the opportunity to win a drag race to the finish line and he claimed a hard fought eighth spot by the narrowest of margins over home crowd favourite Hayden. Smith's excellent performance also elevated him into the top 10 in the World Championship standings for the first time in his rookie campaign.
Cal Crutchlow 5th
"I'm really pleased to finish the race in the top five and it means I am still the leading satellite bike in the Championship, which is an achievement to be proud of. It was a really good battle out there and I enjoyed it a lot. All of us were pushing at our absolute maximum and Alvaro rode fantastic. Credit to Valentino as well because he recovered quite a lot of time and it is not easy to do that towards the end of the race. I knew it was going to come down to the last lap and probably the last corner and I did my best to keep fourth. But unfortunately Valentino made a good move up the inside of the right before the last corner and I couldn't get him back. I had a lot of fun though I think the three of us gave the American fans something to cheer. I've only lost two points to Valentino in the Championship on a track I don't like at all. I was strong all weekend, so that gives me a lot of confidence for the next races in Brno and Silverstone where I was very competitive at last season."
Bradley Smith 8th
"I think eighth position was more or less what we had predicted for the race, but we did not expect to be so far behind the winner. The race was very exciting and I got an amazing start but pretty much right from the first lap I felt we had an issue with the rear end of the bike. I tried to maintain my pace but unfortunately I ran off in at Turn 6 and a few guys passed me. I tried to recover again but the rear problem was getting worse and at the end of the race I could only try to pass the Ducatis. I was a bit lucky that they ran wide in the last corner, so I could pass both on the final straight. Eighth is not a bad result but I'm a little bit disappointed because we did a really good job during the whole weekend and I was very confident for the race. Now I just hope I can carry the good performances from practice and qualifying into Brno."
Magic Marquez masters Indy to clinch third-straight MotoGP victory
Round 10: Indianapolis MotoGP - Race
Indianapolis, Sunday 18 August 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 29-30°C; Track 47-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)
There was no stopping Marc Marquez at Indianapolis MotorSpeedway this weekend, the Repsol Honda rounding out a relentless performance by taking the chequered flag today for his third consecutive MotoGP? victory to sweep all races held in the United States of America this season.
Starting from pole position, Marquez lost out to teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo at the start of the race to trail his two rivals for the opening laps. Marquez overtook Pedrosa on lap nine and seized the race lead from Lorenzo on lap thirteen, before streaking away to win by 3.495 seconds. Pedrosa fended off the challenge of Lorenzo to finish in second place, with the reigning MotoGP? champion Lorenzo placing third. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro rode valiantly with an injured hand to finish as the top CRT entry in twelfth place.
Track temperatures for the race peaked at 53°C, however the temperature at the start of the race was in the mid-forty degree mark and all works riders, and all except four CRT riders, selected their softer rear slick option for the race. Front tyre choice was identical across the field, with all riders using the harder front slick. Although track temperatures increased throughout the race, the softer rear tyre options exhibited consistent degradation with a new race lap record of 1'39.044 set by Marquez on the eighteenth lap of the race.
Marquez's third straight victory extends his lead in the championship standings over teammate Pedrosa to twenty-one points, with Lorenzo third in the standings and a further fourteen points behind.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"That was certainly a very eventful end to what was a fantastic race! Congratulations to Marc for his dominant display this weekend and to Repsol Honda on securing their third 1-2 finish this season. With the good news that MotoGP will return to Indianapolis next year, I am sure the fans appreciated seeing such great action here this weekend, and I hope to see an even larger crowd here next year. We now return to Europe and I am very much looking forward to seeing the next chapter of this brilliant championship fight unfold at Brno."
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"With track temperatures today no higher than experienced in qualifying yesterday, all works riders and most of the CRT riders decided to use their softer rear slick option for the race. Front tyre choice was the same for all riders, with the hard compound front slick being selected and this combination resulted in very quick lap times in the race. The medium compound slick, which was the softer choice for the works riders performed very well in the conditions with a fast race pace and new Circuit Record Lap being set in the second half of the race. The performance of our tyres this weekend makes me very happy as new qualifying and race lap records were set and we enjoyed good tyre durability at this very demanding circuit."
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda - Race Winner
"I didn't get a good start but I knew before the race that the most important part was the end of the race. For the first few laps I just focused on following Dani and Jorge and conserving the tyres and once I got past them I felt so good with the bike and managed to build a gap. I really enjoyed the race and the twenty-five points are important for the championship."
BRADL ENDS IN 7th PLACE THE INDIANAPOLIS GP
Indianapolis, 18 August: the tenth round of the season at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a mixed-feelings round for LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl who managed to finish the 27-lap race in 7th position. Bradl, who was consistently fast in all free sessions, crashed twice yesterday and lacked some confidence during the race which was also particularly physically demanding for the German rider.
"Honestly I am a bit disappointed about this result and I had mixed feelings in this weekend. At the beginning we were very strong but after 3 crashes in the practices I lost a bit of confidence. We have tried to adjust the bike but, during the race, those changes made the bike too heavy to ride for me. I could not keep the same speed for the whole race because I was too tired so I lost the guys in front of me. Now I just want to move on to Brno and try to be back in the pack".
Ninth place for Hayden, tenth for Dovizioso at Indianapolis GP
At the last of three MotoGP rounds to be held on American soil this season, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso finished today's race in ninth and tenth positions, respectively, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As has been the case on many occasions this year, the evenly matched teammates found themselves dicing with one another for the entire race aboard their Desmosedici GP13 machines. Positions were traded on several occasions, and on the final lap, the American tried a last-corner pass on Dovizioso for eighth place. The two made contact and ran off the track, which allowed Bradley Smith to pass them both on the run to the finish line.
Tomorrow, the Ducati Team heads to the Czech Republic, where the second of three races on consecutive weekends will take place at the Brno circuit.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
"We'd hoped for more. We found a direction in qualifying yesterday, but when the tyre got a few laps on it in the race, we lost rear grip. Early, I was trying to hang with Rossi, but as soon as the tyre went away, I made a little mistake and he was gone. From there, I was just racing with Dovi, and he really pushes and doesn't make many mistakes. We went back and forth a lot, and then in the last corner on the last lap, we had contact, which was my fault. When the door started to close, I was already committed and didn't want him to take out my front wheel. Unfortunately, Smith still beat us to the line. It's a shame, but we still need to improve the bike over race distance. The race went better than last year, and the fans were great to me, but I would've liked to put up a better fight than that."
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 10th
"The race went more or less as I expected. The goal was to finish with a 1'40" pace, but unfortunately, the rear tyre started to lose grip on both sides in the last ten laps, so the race became a strategic battle between Nicky and me. I'm fairly pleased with how I managed my race because I was able to pass him back on the final lap, but in the last corner, he wanted to get by me at any cost, using a really aggressive manoeuvre. I didn't expect it because I hadn't left the door open. Nicky came beside me and we touched, and it certainly wasn't a safe move, but we can say it was a racing incident. We were called to Race Direction because of course it's important to talk about these things and immediately clear them up. Honestly, I'm quite annoyed to have lost two positions, and I also wanted to keep Smith behind me. Still, there's no sense in creating controversy in a situation like this, so for me it's over."
Paolo Ciabatti - Ducati MotoGP Project Director
"It was a difficult race for our team. In the early going, Nicky and Andrea stayed in contact with the rest of the group, but in the final ten laps, the drop in performance of the rear tyres slowed our riders' pace, and they found themselves trading positions a couple times and fighting with each other for eighth place. Unfortunately, Nicky tried to pass Dovizioso in the final corner, even though there was limited space. The two riders touched and went over the curb, and Smith was able to pass them both at the finish line. Nicky and Andrea talked afterward to clear things up, and there was no controversy. The fact remains that we can't be satisfied with a result like today's, so we must grit our teeth and try even harder to improve the performance of our bikes."